I was sitting in my local Starbucks a few weeks ago and overheard a conversation by a group of people standing next to me. One of the ladies was describing to the others how she was now living gluten free, dairy free, and sugar free. She went on to say how she went in to Chick-fil-a and without thinking ordered french-fries and ate them. She felt so bad about doing that. It was clear that this was a life-style choice not a medical issue (which I completely respect, before you stop reading).
To distract me from that encounter my eyes shifted and what did I see but a young man doing lunges and stretches in the middle of the store. I’m not sure if he saw my head shaking in disbelief or not.
I’m not against healthy life-style and exercise. I work out every day. What I do think we have taken too far is the notion that if we do all those things we will be able to avoid pain, illness, suffering and disease. While our chances may be lowered, the fact is we aren’t in control of most of that. I read that at best, 50% of these things we can influence. The rest is genetics. We strive so hard at denial so we can live a longer life of denial. We plan, save, use continual restraint, and put off the joy of living so we can later have some joy in living – if we live that long. I call this the “Life Later Life” plan.
Certainly, there is a place for saving money, for denying ourselves things that aren’t healthy or proper, and exercising some discipline. But there is also a reality that the ultimate life we will experience is not this life, but the life to come in heaven. In heaven, there will be no disease, crying, disappointment, rejection or scarcity. That is what we should be aiming for. In the meantime, we might be better off living with more balance now. Take the vacation you aren’t guaranteed later. Eat great food without guilt. Drive the sports car you have always wanted. Write the book, ride the motorcycle, learn to fly… whatever it is that you want to do someday. Someday already happened. It was yesterday. So choose to live.
After all, you can do all the right things. Eat the right food. Exercise like crazy. Get plenty of sleep. Stay out of the sun. Take your vitamins and supplements. Have your yearly checkup. Stay away from caffeine, ice-cream, and chocolate… And still trip on the sidewalk, hit your head and die anyway. So, live a little this week.
By the way, I believe in this so much I had a donut to celebrate!
Live this week on purpose,