My little boy brought home a stomach virus that has now spread through the family like a pack of wolves in a chicken farm. We canceled our trip to Sedona to meet our friends. I stayed home from church with my two sick girls. I’ll spare the details but it was important that we all be close to a bathroom for two separate reasons.
Tonight I was thinking about how blessed we are to be free from chronic diseases at this point in our life. We are so rarely sick that we probably all wondered “How could this be happening?” When in reality, a little bug that passes through the family is a great reminder of the relative health we enjoy and how important health is.
As I thought about people that I have met who feel sick more often that they feel well (and I’ve met a lot of these people), I wonder what they would give to be healthy if they had complete confidence that what they were buying would fix their health problems. And what would somebody have to pay me to give up my health for good and feel crummy every day. Was there any huge number of dollars that would be worth giving up my “normal every day” health? What about a BILLION DOLLARS? For a billion dollars would you feel nauseous and weak every day?
Would driving around in your (insert dream car of choice) with a bad stomach and a headache bring you more joy than driving your Hyundai without pain? What about swimming in your own lazy river when you had the runs? Better than back yard sprinklers when you feel well?
I don’t know about you but, at least tonight, none of those things sound like a good trade. If you said yes to the deal, what about a million dollars? Would you do a lifetime of crummy tummy for a million dollars? That’s only $20,000 a year if your are going to live 50 more years. If it sounds ridiculous to you like it does to me, people are trading their health for less than that.
We trade our health most often for a couple minutes of a good taste in our mouth, 30 minutes of a TV program instead of sleeping, 30 minutes of oversleeping instead of getting a little exercise. These small exchanges we make for long term health do more than rob us of being healthy in our 50s and 60s; they rob us of daily joy that healthy choices make. We aren’t choosing a good day today over a few years off the end of our lives.
By making poor health choices we are choosing momentary satisfaction over a better day today, tomorrow and years to come.
Today, let’s think about what we really want for ourselves and our families and start living the way that will make that happen. And let’s be grateful for the health that God has given us. Even if we do have health problems, there is still plenty to be grateful for.