Tuesday, June 2, 2015
Back when I first became a Christian, spiritual gifts were all the rage. We would ask each other, “What’s your gift?” or as a conversation starter we would ask, “If you could pick out a spiritual gift, what would it be?” It was easy for me to answer that last question. It was then and it would be now the gift of healing. To make a sick person well; to end pain and suffering; what could be better than that? Miracles of healing do occur from time to time. Unfortunately God has not used me as an instrument in any of these processes. Still, I pray for the sick. As a nation we tend to believe that doctors are gods who can answer our prayers with a miracle. Some critics of our healthcare system refer to it as a sickcare system, with good reason. The entire healthcare industry, doctors, drug companies, insurance providers, and patients are all focused on finding the procedure or drug that will get rid of our symptoms rather than focusing on what it would take to keep us healthy. Some days I feel as though people in very real financial distress expect that someone (usually the Government) can give them a miracle pill that will end all their pain without any effort on their part. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. Wealth like health is the result of a complex intertwining of assumptions, thoughts, decisions, and behavior over long periods of time. One of my friend’s mother smoked cigarettes into her mid-eighties without lung disease. She finally quit when roll-your-own cigarettes became too expensive. She must have come from the deep end of the gene pool. Most people who engaged in her behavior would have died before the eightieth birthday. If you consistently spend more than you make over an extended period time, building up large balances on your credit cards, I can pretty well guarantee that a trip to the financial emergency room is in your future. Even if you come from the deep end of the gene pool, super-sizing your daily intake of fast food rather than a eating reasonably sized portions from the menu of a nutritionally balanced diet is likely to cause quality of life problems as you move across the twenty or so years we call middle age. Like exercise and good diet, what you invest in your 401(k) while you are still in your twenties will almost guarantee a better life when you reach your sixties. Take an inventory of your current beliefs and behaviors. Are they producing the fruit you want to see in your life? Are they likely to move you closer to a better you or a better life or are you taking unnecessary risks that are likely to cause you problems if everything else doesn’t go exactly as planned. Do you want healthy teeth and gums? Do you brush and floss daily?