As I was running the other day, I came to a thought. I started to run because I found myself getting the ‘computer guy gut’. When I was in graduate school, I looked down and found myself taking on weight, so I made some standard lifestyle changes that made me more active.
These changes included some regular structured exercise, but I also stopped riding the bus to the college and drove instead. You see, at Penn State during this time, I had to park at Beaver Stadium and walk into the center of the campus, every day, at least twice a day. This made me walk about three miles every day just to work. The combination of these changes, I lost several pounds of weight and got back to what is considered healthy for my age. I noticed the consequences of my life starting to creep in on me and I had to make immediate changes to correct. When I was finishing graduate school, I started to work as a college professor during the finalization of my dissertation. This was a time of great busy-ness for me and I found myself in a car an average of 3 hours a day. I moved to a small town between the two universities that were 65 miles apart and commuted to one college for work during the day, and the other college for dissertation related items, and the ministries that I still had in that town. I was not walking and had no time to exercise. So it was for the next two years of my work. I found myself a little too large, to the tune of 30-35 pounds over the healthy level for me. So I needed to start running to counteract the weight gain.
The bottom line, I did not wait to suffer a heart attack to get the message that I needed to take better care of my body. And then I got to thinking, that is frequently the case with us. We need to experience the suffering in our life to get the message. It should not be this way. I thought to other things like vitamins. I look quite a bit younger than I actually am. I believe this is because I have generally taken good care of myself, starting with vitamins from the time I was 18 years old. I did not want to wait until I was getting the consequences of poor choices to learn that I need to act now. A general tip in life is that when you have had your heart attack, you might live, but you are coming too late to the health and wellness scene! This principle also applies to raising kids. I have observed many families and discipline structures. I know from experience that once a teen is no longer a child, and he is making poor choices in life, it is too late to make easy course adjustments. The youngster is who he is by this time. It will be very difficult to impact change. Do not wait until your child is in jail to try to change him or her. And finally, this applies to salvation. Isaiah 55:6 says, Seek the LORD while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near. The Parable of the Ten Virgins is an example of this principle from the New Testament (Matthew 25:1-13). In this parable, Jesus is telling the story of ten virgins, five are wise to bring extra oil, five are foolish and did not. So when the foolish ask the wise for oil, the wise tell them that they need to go and buy some lest they run out. As the foolish are out buying oil, the bridegroom comes and lets the five wise virgins in. When the foolish come back, they are reprimanded for “not knowing them”. Jesus says, ‘Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour’ of His coming. We need to seek the Lord while He may be found. Hebrews gives us this admonition (Hebrews 2:1-4):
For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it. For if the word spoken through angels proved unalterable, and every transgression and disobedience received a just penalty, how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? After it was at the first spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who heard, God also testifying with them, both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will.
Let us not neglect the day of salvation. If you need help with it, check out the Gospel, and if you need to talk, found a local church in your town so that you can meet face to face with a pastor that can help you. Come to Christ before it is too late!