By: Dennis Bates
One of the sure signs you’re getting older is knowing the doctors in your area on a first name basis. And not just your family physician, but a lot of the specialists too. It’s bad enough when you recognize them at the grocery store or in a restaurant, but when you can call them by name and match them with their specialty, Medicare can’t be far behind. If you know the names of their spouses, you get bonus points, but not the good kind, the scary kind.
After the summer I’ve had, I’m close to being there. This morning when I went into my family doctor’s office for yet another skin infection, I asked my doctor how his children did at the recent dancing competition. Now I’m worried. We are becoming much too familiar.
As if that weren’t bad enough, he said Joe asked him how my arthritis in my knee is doing. Joe’s my orthopedic specialist, and he’s looking forward to replacing my knee much more than I am. Frankly, I’d rather have him ask me about football.
The plain, simple truth is that our bodies are only made to last so long, and your mileage may vary from mine. The mortal part of us ages much like a car. As it gets older, it needs more tune-ups, more daily maintenance, and more rest. It still gets us where we’re going, but slower and with lots more creaking than it did when it came off the showroom floor.
That’s just the way it is, and there’s not much we can do about it except replace the tires every so often and make sure the oil level is filled above the add mark. I guess the question I’ve always had was why would our Creator make us this way?
After all, these transitory bodies wear out and sooner or later stop all together. Why would he fill them with a soul that may grow weary at times, but never wear out and never stop? As the Creator, he could have made us any way he wants, and that includes matching our immortal souls with an immortal body.
But He didn’t. Why? What is the point of only being here on earth for a short time? What is it we’re supposed to learn from that? And if it were that important, why didn’t He just tell us instead of making us learn it for ourselves, if, in fact, we ever learn it?
I don’t have those answers. I’m not even certain that I have the right questions. Maybe some theologians get closer and maybe not. The Pharisees thought they had most everything figured out. So did the earliest leaders of the church: St. Augustine, Calvin, Knox, Luther, and the list goes on into the present day. They only had part of the picture.
All I know for certain is that I don’t know, but I don’t have to. All I have know is Jesus Christ and Him crucified, just as Paul did. That is more than enough until the earthly vessel God gave me wears out completely and frees my immortal soul. Maybe then it will become clearer to me, maybe not.
In the meantime, I’ve discovered that a lot of doctors aren’t such bad people.