So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. —2 Corinthians 4:16-18
Every morning when I look in the mirror, the Year 38 temples have gotten a little whiter, the smile wrinkles a little more pronounced.
These days, aches and pains linger a little longer. Wounds that used to take days to heal might take weeks or months. Gravity’s relentless pull is gradually getting its way. With each rising sun, it gets a little harder to get out of bed.
Yet I am probably in the best shape of my life. I regularly take 3- to 4-mile runs. My weight begins with a “1” (which, given my life-long history of battling my waistline, is amazing). I feel good. And thanks to Joy, I eat right. My bloodwork numbers are almost all smack dab in the middle of the normal range.
But this won’t always be the case. If I don’t die catastrophically, sooner or later, one of those numbers will drop—or rise—abnormally. A test will raise an eyebrow, setting the downward slide in motion. My family history of dementia might be the disease that takes me. But it might not.
These are not fun things to think about. But they help me put today in perspective. I am sitting here on a bus, with no life-sustaining lines or monitors hooked up to me. I took no medication before leaving the house this morning. I will have walked hundreds of steps to get to work today, without even giving it a thought.
My preoccupations today tend to center around that project, that meeting, that relationship, that situation—with no regard to my kidneys or my colon. Those things are all working flawlessly, involuntarily, painlessly. I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
And even though my physical body is showing signs of wear, the Bible reminds me that there is an inner person that is on the upswing. When I look in THAT mirror each morning, I take joy in the directional (albeit slow) renewal. With God’s help, My hunger for Him, and for heaven, is deepening each day.
God is pulling me in a different direction than gravity. That’s the beautiful providence of pushing 40.