Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Perfect Health

By Jeffrey Arthurs
Professor of Preaching & Communication and Dean of the Chapel

I go to the chiropractor as often as my insurance permits because I’m a walking, achey-breaky bag of bones. As you may know, for many years chiropractors have been at the center of our country’s upsurge of interest in alternative medicine and holistic health. If you were to attend a chiropractic convention I’d imagine that you would see workshops like “Detoxification Through Herbal Blah Blah,” “Recent Advances in Lowering Cholesterol with Alpha, Zen, Beta Blah Blah,” and “Mind, Spirit, Body, and Blah Blah.”
So, I was interested to see a white paper my chiropractor wrote recently arguing against the concept/goal of “Perfect Health.” He said that for years he has talked about it, heard about it, promoted it, believed in it, and urged it for his patients. Now he’s changed his mind. He says that Perfect Health cannot be defined and is probably unattainable even if defined in narrow terms. It is a chimera. Instead, he is starting to promote contentment.
I like this. Perfect health, the perfect body, a perfect night’s sleep, perfect alignment, and so forth, ain’t gonna happen in this world. My chiropractor didn’t include a biblical/theological perspective in his white paper, but isn’t his thesis consistent with the Faith? We are as solid as mist; the span of our days is a handbreadth; we are like grass that withers. We will not know Perfect Health or perfect anything in this life. And that makes me long for the next life in the next age.
I recently read Heaven by Randy Alcorn, and it has increased my desire for that age. I like to think of it as Gandalf did when comforting Pippen as the orcs hammered the seventh gate: “This is not the end. The gray rain curtain of this world rolls back, and then you see it . . . . White shores and a far green country under a swift sunrise.”
So, I’m giving up my quest for Perfect Health (it wasn’t much of a quest, anyway), and I’m setting my eyes not on what is seen, but on what is eternal. When I see the tent of my earthly home being dismantled, I’m focusing forward on the building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

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