We can spend most of our life focused on trying to preserve and elongate our earthly stay but we all eventually come up as losers. Death, regardless of how earnest, educated and determined we are, wins. Yet, highly disciplined efforts can abate aging and death, gaining some time, even years.
Over my years in ministry I have witnessed people in their later years (like 70s) who are quite upset to find out they have a terminal condition. They feel cheated! They did all the right things for a healthy and longer life, only to find they will die like so many who did little to care for their health.
Respectfully caring for our anatomy without becoming obsessed and excessive, is everyone’s duty. Our Creator has given each of us an anatomical masterpiece exceeding the phenomenon of all creation. Yet, though so wonderful, we are all fragile and prone to weakness and sickness; requiring attention daily to bodily necessities.
Most deaths are premature due to physical or emotional abuse of our bodies. Such abuse, however, can be unavoidable due to poverty, environmental conditions, stressful life circumstances or ignorance. A great portion of premature deaths are SELF-IMPOSED — little discipline in procuring and protecting our bodily needs and limitations — poor diet, anxiety, fatigue, drugs, alcohol, or smoking.
Medical research indicates our self-destruction comes primarily from tension, stress, worry and fear. Living with such anxieties is like walking uphill all the time; or like driving our car with the brake on.
One thing is for sure — none of us can totally avoid abusing our bodies to some degree. Unavoidable circumstances arise, imposing unwanted diet and tension. It is everyone’s lifelong task to fight off unhealthy debilitations that ever seek to invade our daily walk.
Maintaining a reverence and high esteem for ourselves — our mind and body recognized as the marvels of creation that we are — are all necessary to persevere in steering away from self-destructive behavior.
There is abundant evidence that people who are RELIGIOUS — maintaining a love connection with the Divine — often experience health benefits. According to resent research (2019) at the Mayo Clinic, people of religious faith have better over-all health, less anxiety, less sickness, live longer, have greater coping ability and less depression and suicide.
Hence our body needs connection to its Maker.