Now as time goes by I become more and more convinced that we should take much better care of our bodies than we used to. And now even more so I wish I had taken care of mine a lot better back in the day. I’m one of those people who’ve grown to appreciate the little things in life, like Epsom salt and fiber. Somewhere in this column would be a good spot to inject a body part joke but I’m not going to do it. Sometimes people need to stop kidding around and get serious. Besides anatomy jokes aren’t what they’re ‘cracked’ up to be. Back in 1981 I was at a camp retreat in Orange, Texas and a bunch of us went swimming in the pool. One of the men there only had one arm, the result of a farming accident. It was remarkable to me how he managed to adapt. He told me he could still swim but mostly in circles. At first I thought he was joking but then I found out he wasn’t. Long before that, in the early seventies I worked with a guy on a construction job who had a glass eye. It wasn’t round like a ball but more disk-shaped. I recall borrowing it once and had a great time with it. So when I found myself losing a few hairs or having to have another tooth pulled I stopped whining and feeling sorry for myself and think of these guys. I can at least be thankful that I have use of most of my parts intact. Some may not work as well as they used to but at least they’re still in place. Over the years I’ve noticed that although I’ve managed to keep hold of most my hair-- I’m informed sometimes that there is more space between hair follicles. That’s what you have kids for: to supply you with this type of information. In reality I’ve got more hair than I’ve ever had. It’s just more equally distributed over different parts of my body. Seriously, I have no problem staying warm in the winter. In the summer folks are always feeling sorry for the dog but I’ve got what he’s got and have to wear shirts and pants over it. Again I want to say I firmly believe we should take care of our bodies but I never want to be one of those vain characters that spend all their time concerning themselves with looking like Mr Universe all the time. You know these. They’re always flexing something. At the YMCA they’re the guys who pick the weights that are closer to the big wall mirror. I once got into a vigorous exercise program with all the weights and swimming, and all I remember is being Thor all over. In all my years growing up I’ve never broken or sprained anything on my body. For some reason I imagined this lasting forever. But lately over the last five or six years some of the parts warranty has been running out. I broke a hand playing football with my son and exactly a year later I was swinging my daughter around and fell and broke a foot. Not long after, I messed up three discs in my neck and had to have surgery. The surgeon had some difficulty putting in that titanium plate and told me to not come back until I got a neck. I thought I had one but apparently I lost that over the years too. That’s what happens when you move so often. Things tend to get lost. It’s probably in a banana box somewhere. So I guess I’ll go look for it. Even as we recognize the realities of physical aging, we also must embrace the truth that our body is only a temporary dwelling place. Paul prayed for the Ephesians…”that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man,” Ephesians 3:16 NKJV Paul also encouraged the Corinthians: 2 Corinthians 4:16 “Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.” The Lord’s promise to those who love and trust Him…“With long life I will satisfy him, And show him My salvation.” Psalm 91:16 NKJV Some changes to the outer man will inevitably take place as our bodies age. May we have grace and inner strength from the Spirit of God to sustain us and allow us to bring forth fruit, even in old age. Psalm 92:13-15 “Those who are planted in the house of the Lord Shall flourish in the courts of our God. 14 They shall still bear fruit in old age; They shall be [a]fresh and [b]flourishing, 15 To declare that the Lord is upright; He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.