When I was younger, every day seemed like a bright new challenge. There was always something new to try–something different to accomplish. I looked forward to each of those days with an eager anticipation and finished most of them with a feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction. As I got older, the challenges seemed to get harder and the anticipation sometimes approached anxiety. The accomplishments seemed to have less impact and the satisfaction was harder to come by.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but that change came at about the same time my health decided to “head south.” Somehow at a few years past 50, I began to inherit all the physical failings suffered by each of my parents. Other than for my birth, I had never spent a night in a hospital. Measles, mumps, chicken pox, bronchitis, tonsils (yes, I had them out at home–on the kitchen table.) and all the other assorted childhood health problems were dealt with swiftly and successfully at home. As I became an adult, married and went to work, I was able to stay in great shape as a hands-on coach of cross-country, track and basketball. There was never a season that I wasn’t working at getting in better shape.
Suddenly, it all changed. Heart issues eventually led to implanting a variety of stents, medication led to a slowed metabolism, excess weight began to attach itself around my middle, sleep apnea and diabetes were added to the list and my knee needed to be replaced. And slowly, with even realizing it, I began to become bitter at my inability to control my own body. This led to developing some self-destructive habits that only made my overall health even worse.
Fortunately, the story doesn’t end there. A pastor who had once been in my youth group and the wife that God had given me 45 years ago didn’t give up on me and helped me to deal with the issues that had caused me to feel bitter. Now when someone asks me what kind of day I’m having, I realize that any day that God gives me is a good day. If I wake up, it’s a good day. And the older I get, the better each new day becomes. And I am saved because God’s mercies are not consumed, but are new every morning to cover each of the failings in my life–past, present and future. (Lam. 3-22-23) And if I shouldn’t wake…then it will be an even better day.