YOU MUST CHECK-UP OR YOU WILL CHECK OUT
I spent the greater part of Tuesday morning at my family doctor’s consulting rooms for my annual medical check-up. The elaborate range of tests and procedures are not fun and games, even sometimes a bit uncomfortable. The heart, prostate (and a few other things) need thorough scrutiny because at my age certain health risks are a bit higher and you wait with a great sense of anticipation for the clinical results.
One cannot over emphasise the importance of going for regular medical examinations. Any potential problems can be detected early and corrective action initiated timeously. Just as with your motor vehicle, it needs to go for regular servicing as scheduled, otherwise the warranty on the vehicle might lapse which can be costly in the event of a mechanical breakdown. Information is power and armed with the right information, we can make the necessary adjustments in our lives and avert a potential health crisis. If you do not go for a check-up regularly, you will prematurely check out.
CONTINUOUS EVALUATION – THE KEY TO SUCCESSFUL LIVING
One of the aspects of my life that I take quite seriously, is continuous evaluation. You see, we cannot go from activity to activity without periodically taking a strategic pause and reflect on what is the current state of play in our lives. Whether it concerns our health, marriage, finances, relationships, professional development, spiritual life, whatever….. we need time to evaluate and reflect on where we stand in relation to intended objectives. I developed the habit of asking the following three questions after every important engagement – What happened? What’s missing? What’s next?
I read the following poem by Scott Williams recently called Evaluate Your Life, which was quite challenging and thought provoking:
“ evaluate your life
evaluate what is important to you
evaluate what those who are the closest to you are saying about you
evaluate where you’ve been and where you’re going
evaluate the seeds you are sowing
evaluate what you are doing today and how it will affect your tomorrow
evaluate the things that cause you sorrow
evaluate your heart and ask God to make it clean
evaluate your life in relation to the things unseen
evaluate the unreleased dreams that you are holding captive
evaluate your life and become adaptive
evaluate your life, make adjustments in your life and re- evaluate your life
evaluate your life. “
KEEPING YOUR LIFE IN A STATE OF COMPLETE WELL-BEING
Medical and health sciences have refocussed from a curative approach to a preventative approach. There are a lot of avoidable health conditions if you embark on the correct lifestyle. There is no rocket science involved on the benefits accrued to health through proper nutrition, exercise, rest, not smoking, safe sexual behaviour, not engaging in substance abuse… Billions of rands spent on expensive curative measures can be saved if we invest wisely in promoting and maintaining healthy lifestyles. Even some of the latest initiatives by medical schemes like the Discovery Vitality programme, is premised on this understanding.
I want to take it a level higher by stating that you must not only take care of your body but more importantly, also invest in the well-being of your soul and spirit. It has been scientifically proven that some physical diseases are triggered by psychological factors such as stress and anxiety. These include gastric ulcers, hypertension, certain heart conditions, eczema etc.
What are some of the vital indicators that signify well-being in this regard?
1. Do I constantly experience real joy and passion about life or is it episodic? A life of perpetual discontent militates against a sense of well–being.
2. Am I authentic in my primary relationships and is it recognizable amongst family, colleagues, and significant others?
3. Is there tangible progress in pursuing the mission of my life and am I growing in what God has called me to be with total obedience, humility and faithfulness?
4. Do I have a balanced approach and not overextending myself in certain areas of life? If we do not determine the right priorities at any given point of time in our lives, we will be in constant crisis management with adverse physical and emotional consequences.
5. How many people’s lives do I touch on a daily basis through servanthood as opposed to having a sense of entitlement? Do I make generosity a lifestyle and consistently seeks the well-being of others above my own interests?
6. Do I spend regular time in the Word of God and is there concrete evidence of the transformative nature of God’s Word on my life? Romans 12 : 2 spells it out so clearly “ …. Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind….” Many books can inform you but only the Bible can truly transform you.
7. Is prayer an indispensable part of my life in all my decisions and endeavours? Is my prayer life a shopping expedition or an intense act of worship? Is it a religious duty that I must comply with or is it a delight to spend every available opportunity to communicate with my Creator and really enjoy His presence?
It is our Creator’s desire that me and you experience wholeness of body, soul and spirit and experience complete well-being and not just the absence of disease. The challenge for us is to make time to reflect and evaluate where we stand in life. Facing your current reality and making the necessary adjustments might be uncomfortable. There is however a risk; if you don’t do a regular check-up, you will prematurely check out.
May I encourage you to make some serious work of self-evaluation before you plunge yourself into the year ahead. Trusting that as you consciously and deliberately make the necessary adjustments, that you will experience an exceptional year of God’s favour on your life for 2022.
Let’s go for it!!