Monday, January 21, 2013

ANNUAL PHYSICALS


CHECK-UPS ARE GOOD, most of the time. The last couple of times I went to the doctor for one of my annual physicals I thought everything was fine, but once the blood work came back the doctor got one of those, “Hmmm, this is interesting,” looks on his face, which of course led to a long string of more tests. Thankfully, when all the results came back nothing serious could be found. As my doctor said, “Well, at least we know what you don’t have.” Somehow, I didn’t quite find the comfort the doctor thought I should with his statement.
     In reality, knowing what you have, or don’t have, can be important for your ongoing health, and what is true for our physical bodies is doubly true for our spirits. Getting regular spiritual check-ups is vital for our ongoing spiritual health. Our destination of heaven maybe secure, but our daily spiritual life can be better if we maintain good spiritual health.
     Please allow me to offer you some helps for maintaining good spiritual health.
1.    Maintain a good daily diet consisting of time in God’s Word, praying prayers of praise, thanksgiving, and seeking God’s wisdom for yourself and others. The “medical term” for those last two is supplication and intercession.
2.    Maintain a regular exercise program which consists of worshiping with other Christians and Christian-like service, as in helping those in need, volunteering to help out in the ministry of the local church, and faithful giving of your vital resources of time, talents, and treasure.
3.    Have fun. Get outside and enjoy the beauty of God’s creation. Take time for resting your body (medical term: Sabbath.) Read poetry, play in your garden, goof-off with your family. Enjoy the gifts that God has given to you, even a delicious BBQ hamburger!
4.    Get a regular annual check-up. Make an appointment with a pastor (got two great ones here J) just to talk about your walk with Christ. If not a pastor then someone you know who has faithfully walked with Christ, and their life and language shows it. Get those check-ups before you need them. Don’t wait until you’ve already got a cancer growing within you.
     There you go: some good, practical and healthy steps for you to take to maintain a strong spirit -- one that knows the presence and peace and power of the Lord, because it is daily seeking to surrender itself to the Great Physician. As writer and poet Garrison Keillor often says, “Be well. Do good works. And keep in touch.”

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