Sunday, October 21, 2012

Longing After Longevity of Life

“An important personal wisdom is the recognition of the health choices we make now as an investment for the future.”
Having made recent health transgressions—nothing too serious, but still unwise—was, yet again, the perfect opportunity to reflect over the threats to longevity of life. We tend to do this within our cycles of impulsiveness. We make many decisions for pleasure, relief, or gratification. But our health, longer term, is what suffers. Just about all of us, from time to time, are in some form of conscious denial regarding our day-to-day health.
Longevity of Life and Parties
To engage in the longing for longevity of life is not really a selfish pursuit.
It’s the practice of investing for our futures, such that those that know and love us will have us—as if life was a party—longer into the night, with much more dancing and merriment to be had. The party pooper leaves early. But if being a good guest was a metaphor for longevity of life, we would stay until a decent hour, and we would engage in quality conversations with everyone we could. We would enjoy ourselves and others would enjoy our company.
But far too many parties we attend coincide with the making of poor health choices. We drink too much or we eat too much or we eat the wrong foods—of those that are on offer. We put this down to relaxing, to engaging in pleasure.
The fact we are in social situations increases tension or arousal. The introvert is nervous and the extrovert is excited. Both emotional states create the circumstances of temptation. We can understand why we drop our guard at social events.
Discipline within Patterns of Living
Beyond parties and social events we have the core problem of a lack of discipline. Either that or we exemplify too much discipline, as in the rampant exerciser, who appears (for it’s in appearance only) to have mastery over their willpower. Anything done to excess, even the good things, can become problematic.
Discipline is balance. And we all have discipline problems.
This is a test of our discipleship. We are to find a balance between an appropriate self-discipline that supports us in our quest for longevity of life—as an investment for our loved ones—and an appropriate level of life enjoyment. Pleasure is not a sin, but too much pleasure is.
An important personal wisdom is the recognition of the health choices we make now as an investment for the future.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.
Postscript: it should be stated that, whilst we aim for a long life, there are other factors beyond our control that we need to accept. It is another proof of God that we have little control over when we will die and the circumstances of our deaths. So, whilst longevity is our aim, there are many other factors that speak for or against us that are beyond our control.

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