March 25, 2011

Do NOT Lose Heart!

Let me be quick and to the point: More often than not these days I feel like I'm falling apart. My neck is in constant tension, the scar tissue in my shoulder makes noises that would frighten a child, and my lower back now seems to have it's own mission of clamping down on my spine and unmentionable posterior like a vice in a junior high shop class. And that's just the upper body! I've still got 16+ months before I reach 40. This is getting old really quick! But before you ask me if I'd "like some cheese with my whine" - and maybe it's too late for that - let me just say this: I'm totally OK with it.

I reached the conclusion a few years ago that those 2 or 3 guys at the gym - or the ones they somehow manage to slap on the Men's Health cover (as if any NORMAL human with 1/2 a life has the time or metabolism to look like that) - are either 1 of 2 things: really, really lucky....or just plain flat not living. Sure, I want to be in shape. I want to run with my kids. I want to try and eat right. And I do. But I'm more concerned with actually living - tasting things that make me want to taste them again, showing my kids the proper way to devour pancakes, and just being there for them - than I am with looking like Ryan Reynolds. (No offense to Ryan Reynolds. Great choice for Green Lantern, by the way!) The question for us, even in the midst of our aches, pains, whitening hair, and blood pressure meds is this: WHAT are we really living for?

Paul exhorts us 2 Corinthians 4:16-18, "We do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away ("Amen" to that!), our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen." (Amen mine) If we're living this life to the fullest - living each day, abandoned for the Kingdom of God - there are going to be aches and pains. We're probably going to get to know our Pharmacist better than we ever wanted to. You'll most likely see your chiropractor more than your hairstylist. It's OK. LIVE! We're wasting away, my friends. This "outer self" is a fragile earthen vessel. But THANK YOU LORD! In the midst of this temporary decaying process, "our inner self is being renewed day by day"! Is this true for you?

Are you finding your greatest joy and hope and rest in Christ?
Are you pursuing Him daily? Being renewed?

My hope is in Christ. Period. He is making me new. I can't see it most of the time, but I feel it and know it in my soul. He is faithful and good. His love for me is greater than anything. And so tomorrow morning, as I take my 4 pills, I will swallow them with joy, knowing that I'm alive and I belong to Him! And this is why I do NOT lose heart!

1 comment:

johnc said...

Brian--I feel your pain. Literally. I just turned 40 (about 73 months ago), and I can tell you it doesn't get any easier. Limbs that used to operate smoothly now crack and pop like they're going to fall off. Those athletic people on the fitness magazine covers stare up at me from the recycle bin as I debate whether or not I can get it all the way to the curb without throwing my back out. I'm really going to appreciate that new body some day…

But seriously, thanks for the encouragement and for putting things in perspective! And don't worry if you start forgetting to take your 4 pills in the morning - there's another pill for that.