Books authored by Dr. James Dyet. Purchase on

Sunday, September 23, 2007

This Old House: Where Seniors Live

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship” (Romans 12:1).

In the 1950s Christians were singing “This Old House,” a song written by Stuart Hamlin. It compared a believer’s aging body to a house whose windows, floors, and doors were wearing out. But Stuart said he didn’t have time to fix the shingles, fix the floor, oil the hinges, or mend the windowpanes. “I won’t need this house much longer,” he wrote; “I’m getting ready to meet the saints.”
Stuart was on to something. This old house, the human body, leaves much to be desired. The older it gets, the more it sags, squeaks, staggers, slumbers, shutters, and shakes. We visit doctors and pharmacies more often than we visit grocery stores; and pills cram our medicine cabinet more than commuters cram a New York subway train at 5:00 o’clock on Friday. Most three year olds can tie their shoelaces faster than we can, and they can consume a biggie order of French fries faster than we can swallow a glass of Metamucil.
And those slick, one-pill or one-ointment-rub cure-all commercials don’t help at all. You know the kind: Grandma can’t play ball with Billy because her arthritic shoulder is killing her. But after rubbing just one dab of that no-smell Wonderlube on her shoulder, she turns into a pitching ace. Billy is ecstatic; he thinks Grandma might win the Cy Young Award.
Of course, some medicinal aids can help alleviate our pain, but this old house will never return to mint condition. We can slow the aging process, but we can’t stop it. Nevertheless, it has served us well for decades and will be our residence until our final moving day.

According to 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20, the Christian should honor God with his body because it is a temple of the Holy Spirit. The Christian’s body is also referred to as a house (KJV, 2 Corinthians 5:1). No matter how tired or stressed our “house” may be, we ought to maintain it as well as we can. Following a proper diet, getting adequate rest, and exercising regularly are just a few important ways to show respect for the body as God’s possession and the Spirit’s residence. Following our doctor’s orders and taking our prescribed medications consistently are two additional ways.
We can honor God with our body by speaking kind, loving words; by listening to a neighbor’s concerns; by talking about the goodness of the Lord; by hugging a grandchild; by extending a helping hand to the needy; by walking into a patient’s hospital or nursing home room and offering a smile; and by bending our knees in prayer on behalf of others.
We may not need this old house much longer, but until we vacate it, let’s take care of it and honor its Builder.

“Lord, may my hands, feet, lips, and ears honor You, and may my heart beat with love for You and others until You post my final moving day from this old house.”

—From 40 Days to Your Best Life for Prime Timers by Jim Dyet and Joe Ragont, © 2006 Honor Books

No comments: