When I was a kid, I thought that I’d live forever.
I can remember as a 14-year-old tying a rope to a go-cart, strapping on roller blades, putting on a riding helmet and pretending to be evil-kevel. My neighbor, who was about 12, would drive as fast as he could, and I would fly along behind trying to keep my balance and to sling-shot around curves.
This is the same neighbor who built a taller and taller bicycle ramp with me out of wooden 2” x 8”s until we felt it would give us sufficient “air-time” – except one Saturday we built it about like two feet higher than we should have, and neither one of us would jump it.
“You do it.”
“No, you do it.”
“No, you do it.”
And then I said, “Fine. I’ll do it!” – except when I jumped I forgot to pop-a-wheelie and so the front end of my bike went straight down as I nose-dived my ribs into my handle bars, slammed my face, chin, and teeth into the pavement, and sent the bike flipping over me about 20 feet further down the pavement.
To put it simply, I have learned the hard way that I am not invincible and that I will live forever. Perhaps, I should take care of myself in better ways because bruised ribs and chipped teeth make for a rough time.
That’s kind of what these 40 days of Lent are about: learning that we won’t live forever and to therefore take care of ourselves. Some of us give up ice cream, or chocolate, or dessert. Some of us make fitness a goal and begin to jog in the improving weather. Some of us find other things that our harmful to our lives and try to break free of them. And even some of us may find more productive ways to spend our time such as volunteering at the food bank rather than enjoy another four hours of mindless TV.
I, myself, have since limited the amount of bike tricks off high objects I perform. I also no longer climb 200ft trees. This is good for me.
So this lent, I challenge you. What would be good for you? What could you change for the next 40 days that would leave you a better caretaker of the body and life God gave you?