A six-month dental cleaning and x-rays; annual mammogram; well-woman check-up; pap smear, pelvic exam; blood work, urine test; endocrinologist check-up; blood pressure check, cholesterol monitoring, weight, heart check, thyroid, eyes, ears, nose and throat, reflexes … and … have I forgotten anything?
The beginning of the year always brings with it lots of challenges regarding physical health maintenance. It’s not easy, comfortable or cheap to stay on top of our health. As we get older though, the more we stay ahead of the problems, the easier they are to correct.
Statistically, women outlive men by five to six years; with a woman’s life expectancy, just over 81, compared to men at 76 years. This may be due in part to the fact that men are 24% less likely to see their doctor for regular checkups. Dare I say it? Men … not smart!
Good health isn’t something we magically fall into, but something we should be actively pursuing if we are at all interested in being committed Christ followers – that includes both women and men. Yes, good health and responsible Christianity go hand-in-hand.
Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So, you must honor God with your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NLT)
Each time I read this Scripture I’m consumed with guilt and condemnation. I spent a good number of years treating my body like anything but a holy temple. In my late teens, I abused my body with drugs and alcohol. (Hey, it was the 70s!) In my 20s through my late 40s and early 50s, I traded drugs and alcohol for my drug of choice … food. Food was my “go-to” mood enhancer or leveler to be used recreationally or emotionally whenever circumstances, both good and bad dictated. In order to counteract the effects of so many food binges, I abused exercise in equal measure in the hopes of balancing the scales of my obsessive-compulsive eating habits.
Now that I’m staring down the barrel of 60 (sorry, I think I threw up just a little even thinking that out loud), my body which God designed to be a temple for His Holy Spirit is worn out, broken down and suffering from my too-little-too-late efforts of trying to “get healthy.”
It’d be nice to hop into my time machine and journey back to 1972 (the year my abusive behavior started in earnest) and begin treating my body like the treasured temple God has always known it to be. Obviously, that’s not an option. We can beat ourselves up, live in regret or make excuses for not taking better care of our bodies. If, however, life has taught us anything – we rarely get do-overs.
If there is a bright side to the “back-side of 60” it would be Philippians 3:13-14: … but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.
No do-overs, but there is always the promise of tomorrow and a brighter future:
And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control. Philippians 3:20-21 (NLT)
Blessings in Christ and as always … happy reading!