Thursday, September 25, 2014

Flu Season

There was this one time my sister got proposed to on the train. That's a great story.

I'll give you the Cliff Notes. We were in Kazakhstan, traveling from our city to the capital, and we took the afternoon train, which is always pretty crowded. We ended up sitting with a former student of one of our friends who heard us speaking English. So he had three hours to figure out my sister is as sweet as she is adorable! But it only took him one hour. The remaining two hours I spent trying to alleviate some of her discomfort and make awkward conversation.

So naturally the topic I chose was death. The poor guy was baffled by my reasoning. He thought I was crazy to prefer a place I'd never been to (that might not even be real or might not let me in!) life on earth. For him it was a morbid way to live, embracing mortality and not living in active avoidance of the things that could do you in.

But the way I see it, when I'm lying there waiting to die, I'm not going to be thinking, "If only I hadn't sat on that concrete, if only I'd worn warmer clothes." Or, to contextualize the example for the western perspective, I'm not going to blame my demise on all the times I microwaved my meals in plastic or ate GMOs or got a vaccine with who knows what kind of preservatives. I won't be regretting the foods I should have avoided or the treatments I shouldn't have gotten. I'll be regretting watching TV instead of investing in people. I'll be regretting the times I closed in when I should have reached out.

You can try and duck the things that are bad for you: smoking, red meat, carcinogens and free radicals. You can eat clean and go homeopathic, and yeah, you might even be healthier for it. But death is still going to come.

I'm not saying it's silly to care about the industrialization of food or the ingredients in our medications, cos it's not. I'm glad people care about that. And I'm not saying you shouldn't care about your health and your safety, because you should. Honor Him with your body.

What I am saying is that we try to stay healthy not to health's own end, but to be of service. You can't visit shut-ins if you're home with a fever. You can't mow your neighbor's lawn if you're heaving over the toilet. Our priority is people. And if we live to serve people in Jesus's name, does it matter what kills us?

For me, admittedly speaking with the naiveté of a relatively healthy youth, I don't care what's going to kill me. Risk a little.

All this to say, it's time to get your flu vaccine, folks.

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