I often reflect on the duplicity with which some people live their lives with regard to their health. They act self-destructively every day, eating and drinking to excess, failing to get enough rest, not exercising, abusing drugs, etc. They carry on this way thirty, forty, maybe fifty years before their lifestyle catches up with them and their bodies begin to break down. When this happens, when the first heart attack comes, some of these people get “religion”: They start exercising, eating right, cutting back on salt, and so on. It seems so strange to me that people who lived self-destructively for so long suddenly become passionately interested in preserving the very lives they took for granted.
How similar this is to the spiritual walk so many of us take! We live thirty, forty, maybe fifty years struggling and plowing along under our own power, doing things the way we want regardless of the eternal cost. Then one day, often at a personal brush with death or the death of a family member or friend, we get “religion”: We repent of our sins and turn to God. Praise be to God for His mercy!
But would it not have been better to have lived this way from the start? Why wait until your first heart attack before you start treating your body with respect? Why wait until death comes knocking before you reach out to God? You may not get a second chance!