My back has been achy and “cranky” lately. Last month it was irritable enough that I left work early, went to the doctor’s, and missed two days of work (something I haven’t done much in the nearly five years I’ve been at my current job). That weekend I spent icing my back and being very careful in my movements (and groaning a lot). All I could think of was my back and how much it hurt. I’m sure you’ll agree that’s no way to spend a beautiful weekend.
While nursing my growly, cranky back I read Stormie Omartian’s book Greater Health God’s Way. She writes that God is honored when we take care of our bodies. She writes about how she felt before she started embarking on a program to improve her health and how she felt after. She emphasizes getting outside, eating natural foods, drinking plenty of water, combating stress, practicing prayer and fasting, and getting a good quality of sleep. I don’t agree with everything she wrote, but I do agree with the point she makes to be proactive on health matters—take care of small matters before they become big ones. The big ones just take too much time and money. All of us have limited amounts of those (some more limited than others) and each of us just gets one body. Research has led to incredible improvements and innovations in health matters, and I know that many people who were injured in some way are now able to walk, speak and do things due to advancements in technology, but I don’t know of any person getting a 100% new body this side of heaven!
Had I taken my body’s previous signals more seriously, for instance, I could have avoided much pain, not lost work, and not be spending money for physical therapy co-pays (thank God I now have company health insurance). I am trying to discipline myself to do the stretching exercises and things I should have been doing before. That should be easy to do, because it helps avoid pain. It’s not. But in the long run, as I work to improve my attitude and my physical strength I know I will gain. I’ll save money, reduce stress about my health, and more importantly, I’ll have a body that lets me do the things I want to do. I’ll be able to spend time with the people I care about and do the things I care about.
For too long I’ve had the attitude that “My body will keep going because it has to. I have to go to work; therefore my body will keep going.” In more ways than one, last month has been a loud wake-up call to me that that attitude doesn’t work. Bodies break down, whether we can “afford” to have them break down or not. But if we take the time and make the effort to take care of small matters before they become big ones, we may avoid some breakdowns and live easier, better lives.