That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! (2 Corinthians 4:16-17)
Relate: I’m forty years old. I don’t by any stretch consider myself an old man, but every now and then my body sends me little reminders that it isn’t quite what it used to be. Like yesterday, I got up from a desk I had been sitting at for about three hours straight and almost fell on my face. My right knee didn’t feel like holding my weight. It doesn’t matter that my weight is a good 5kg less than it was a year ago at this time. It just decided that for the next couple hours it was going to let me know that it was there.
I got another reminder when I was watching a recent baseball game. I remember when a certain athlete was a rookie. It seemed like just a year or two back. But the sports casters were commenting on how surprised how well he is able to continue playing despite being so old. So old? The kid is three years younger than I am. Sheesh.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not complaining. I have been blessed to have been healed from asthma five years ago. I am in good enough shape to do a 48 kilometer walk from Trabzon to Sumela Monastary a couple weeks back and think nothing of it. Just a day or two later I ran up 100 steps, then walked up 400 more before crawling up the last 108. Still, I finished. My knees are usually good. Just every now and then they, or my back, or my sniffles remind me, though our spirits can be renewed, our bodies are slowly wasting away.
React: We can slow the process down. We can even roll it back a bit. We do have a responsibility to live healthy. This body is a temple. A good diet and exercise are important and even godly. But our body should not be an idol. I invest time into more exercise and money into a better diet so that I might be able to more effectively use the rest of my time and money. No matter how well we maintain it, things like cancer and car accidents can instantly do damage from which we can never recover. While it is important to invest in living physically healthy, it is a thousand times more important to invest in living spiritually healthy. The former can reap rewards for decades, the latter… for a eternity.
I am so grateful that this world is not the end. No matter how hard I might try to maintain my health, it is a slowly losing battle. But that does not have to be a reason for despair but rather for hope. One day I will experience a glory that far outweighs any small current suffering. Help me to invest the best part of myself towards that day.