How much better to get wisdom than gold, to get insight rather than silver! The highway of the upright avoids evil; those who guard their ways preserve their lives.
John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist movement had a well-known saying that I am paraphrasing: do all the good that you can, avoid all the evil that you can and attend to the ordinances of God, which means to practice our faith.
When it comes to caring for our physical temples, it is important to do all the good that we can. It is just as important to avoid the things that are evil for our bodies. Anything to excess is probably not good for our bodies: over-eating, under-eating, over-exhausting, not doing anything, putting things into our bodies that alter our states. The list goes on and on.
Our bodies are not indestructible, as much as our 20 something-year-old selves wanted to think. Middle age is a huge reality check in terms of this! This is where wisdom and insight becomes more valuable than gold or silver.
When I think of someone I know that treated their temples well, I think of my Grandpa and Grandma Deaton. They walked for exercise long before exercising was vogue. While they enjoyed food and desserts, they ate lots of vegetables and fruit. When visiting their house, a huge treat was strawberry and root beer in glass bottles … but this was a treat. They worked hard but also took time to play and enjoy life. My Grandpa was very healthy until he had an imminent aneurysm at 89. My Grandma lived two months shy of 103. Something worked for them.
At this stage of my life, what I do is important modeling for those whom I love. One day, Rick’s son Darran and his oldest son, Waylan, brought over a load of green chop for the heifers on pasture near Rick’s folks. I heard them coming behind me as I went for a run. A couple days later, Waylan said to me, “Dianne, we saw you running.” I’m not a very fast runner or a very good runner. But I pray that Waylan and his siblings see me making more good choices than evil choices. On the days I bring Ellie and Dylan to my in-laws, they know the routine. This includes me assisting my mother-in-law with exercises and physical therapy. Ersel and I chuckle as we watch 23-month-old Dylan imitate us. Ersel thinks Dylan could help her with exercises when I’m not at the farm.
I know I’m not always going to make every possible good choice each day. But I pray that I limit the evil choices. I want my good choices to be what people recognize of me rather than my evil choices.
Wisdom and insight: lofty ambitions but certainly worth the effort. Lord God, may my daily choices model a desire for me to make as few evil choices as possible. Steer me towards good choices and away from evil ones. As I practice my faith, may this inspire me to see more clearly and often the choices which are evil. Help me avoid them. Amen.
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