How many of you ever played Pick Up Sticks when you were a kid? I loved that game, but it sure could be frustrating. I’d think I had a good move, but I didn’t notice the end of the stick I was moving was touching another stick which would move causing me to forfeit my turn. Those of you familiar with the game have felt the same frustration. We didn’t realize it then, but that game was a great demonstration of the inextricable link between choices and consequences.
As adults, we know every choice we make has a consequence tied to it, and those consequences aren’t always pleasant. In life, we can’t control the consequences, nor can we control when those consequences come. What we can control are our choices. If we’re smart, we look around for clues as to what choices bring what consequences, and we choose accordingly.
The trouble is, when it comes to our health, most of us aren’t being smart. We’re behaving as if what has happened to others won’t happen to us, even though we’re making the same choices. You see, every day of our lives, we’re still picking up sticks. Just as when we were kids playing Pick Up Sticks, when we pick up one end of the stick (choice), we pick up the other end as well (consequence). However, as adults, we’re pretending we can pick up one end of the stick without the other.
“The most sincere prayer for health is the daily prayer of respecting your body temple. You can’t dig your own grave with a spoon for decades and then expect a miracle to pull you from the depths of that deep hole because you uttered one shallow last-minute plea for help. It’s insincere. The truth is you have been praying for decades with your actions, and your unwholesome prayers are being answered. You really do get what you faithfully ask for with your actions. What are your actions asking for right now? Be careful what you ask for; you may get it. Quit abusing your body temple today. Pray for your deliverance tomorrow – by taking good care of yourself today.” Bryant McGill in Simple Reminders: Inspiration for Living Your Best Life
Another thing I’m sure you’re all familiar with is how quickly time passes. The older we get, the faster it seems to fly. 2018 is almost over, we’ll blink, and it will be Christmas 2019. Don’t let another year fly past you that you’ve failed to make the choices that will bring you greater health. Don’t be one of those praying for a miracle after years of abusing your body with the wrong kinds of foods while ignoring the right ones. Don’t spend another year saying you don’t have time to exercise, because you’ll sure wish you could when you’re lying in a hospital bed. Choose today what you want your tomorrow to look like.
What do you need to rearrange in your life to make sure that you have time to take better care of yourself, so that you’ll enjoy a long and healthy life? Make those difficult decisions now. As difficult as they may be, I can assure you they’re easier than being disabled or dead. You must make time to exercise and to shop for and prepare healthy meals now. Even if you aren’t sick now, if you aren’t eating right and exercising, it’s only a matter of time.
Don’t let any more time pass before you take stock of your habits and how they’re affecting your health. You needn’t wait for New Year’s to turn over a new leaf and begin practicing healthy habits. You’ll have good days and bad days, but keep working hard to establish those new habits. The more you do something, the stronger that habit will become until it’s stronger than the old, unhealthy habit. There’s no time like the present to raise your standards and start doing better for yourself. Your health destiny depends on it!