ON THE JOURNEY

JAMES HASSELL, CO-PASTOR

I am fascinated by our interest in health and longevity. It seems as though news articles come up on my social media feed daily about the latest miracle drug or the newest research about the right foods to eat. Some of this information appears contradictory at times. For instance, the benefits and detriments of getting shots is a hotly debated issue. People on both sides argue from research. The same could be said about drinking coffee or even drinking bottled water!


The latest hot button health topic comes from the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), which published research last week stating that various sorts of common prescription medications increase our risk of developing dementia by as much as fifty percent (see article here: https://www.cnn.com/2019/06/24/health/dementia-risk-drug-study/index.html).


While the amount of debate can be confusing, one thing is clear. We are concerned about ourselves. Have you even noticed how many commercials run on television nowadays concerning medications? The implied message of these ads is: “If you take this medicine, then life will be all you want it to be.” Yet, half of the advertisement is spent on telling you the side effects, some of which are quite serious!


The voice of Jesus may help calm both our nerves and our concern for our health and longevity. The Lord matter-of-factly teaches, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” (Matthew 6:25-27, NIV).


Jesus’ advice seems counter-intuitive. Indeed, why should we not be concerned for our health and survival? Perhaps Jesus is going deeper than we think here. Could it be that Jesus is teaching us to simplify the number of our concerns, worries, and distractions? Jesus said that we are to seek the kingdom of God as our number one priority—meaning that, while food, clothing, medication, and health is substantially important, these things are put in their proper perspective when we focus primarily on God’s will being done on earth as it is in heaven. How can you shift your priorities to God’s will today?


-James