Old age. What comes to your mind when you hear these two little words? The majority of us are of the opinion that aging means the deterioration of ones body and mind, the onset of disease and an end to a persons’ usefulness. I think that we’ve bought into the propaganda telling us that everything goes downhill once we pass a certain age. So we stop trying to participate in life as we should; justifying our complacency to change our bad habits with statements like: “Everyone dies of something.” Sadly, these mindsets are often self-fulfilling prophecies. From childhood on I’ve watched people suffer and die of diseases that were blamed on heredity, or explained away as one of the ‘dismal facts of life’. I never seriously questioned the validity of these conclusions. I simply believed that the fate of those with a history of malevolent genes was to be sickness and certain death. But, I am asking now. Why do you think some people defy the odds and live long, healthy and productive lives? Good genes can’t be the only plausible explanation.
Although heredity plays a role in an individuals’ vitality and good health, I truly believe that the main source of health and of the illusive fountain of youth lies within our mind. I dare say that much of what is manifested as sickness and ‘old age’ are products of the soul. Am I saying that our thoughts are creative? In a sense, yes. The things we believe about God; others; the world in general; and about ourselves determine the choices we make. And our choices have consequences. Our decisions should lead us to better health, increased peace of mind, and contentment with our life and who we have become. If not, then we must take stock in what we really believe.
If we want to have a better life we must fully understand the way God created us to be. In his book, ‘The Spiritual Man’, Watchman Nee describes the connection between our spirit, soul and body. He says (I’m paraphrasing): The body gives us world-consciousness. Through the body we are in contact with the outside sensuous world, affecting it and being affected by it. The spirit gives us God-consciousness. Through our spirit we hold intercommunication with the spiritual world and with the Spirit of God, both receiving and expressing the power and life of the spiritual realm. The soul stands between these two worlds, yet it belongs to both. It is linked with the spiritual world through the spirit and with the material world through the body. Volition, mind and emotion reside in the soul. Because it possesses free will it is able to choose from among its environments. The soul gives us self-consciousness. The spirit cannot act directly upon the body. It needs a medium, and that medium is the soul. The soul belongs to man’s self and reveals his personality; it is the organ of free will; the organ in which the spirit and body are completely merged. If a man’s soul wills to obey God, it will allow the spirit to rule over the man as God ordered. The soul, if it chooses, can suppress the spirit and do whatever is pleasing to the body.
Before Adam sinned the power of the soul was completely under the dominion of the spirit. But, now, in order for the spirit to govern, the soul must give its consent; otherwise the spirit is helpless to regulate the soul and the body. The spirit possesses the function of conscience, intuition and communion with the spirit realm. God is able to regenerate us, teach us and lead us through the spirit, but He can’t do it without our permission. Submission of our will to the will of God is key to receiving His blessings. This is the reason some people are blessed with good health, vitality and peace of mind.
Christians should not live in quiet desperation of what we imagine to be circling overhead. We should not be looking over our shoulder in dread of what we think is stalking us. This fatalistic mindset is not conducive to wholesome living. If worry and doubt are our constant companions then it is time to ask ourselves some probing questions. “In whom do I really believe?” “Whose opinion is the ultimate authority in my life? “ Whose voice am I really listening to and following?”
Life gets so much easier, so much more tranquil and peaceful, when we follow the voice of absolute authority and wisdom. God’s voice speaks to us through scripture. The bible is the ultimate manual for living; yet, it sits on a shelf, in a drawer or is used as a door-stop. Why is that? We depend on manuals with instructions for things like building a house, setting up our entertainment systems, our computers and our children’s swing set. Why is it that we insist on trying to figure life out on our own?
The wellness of our body cannot be separated from the wellness of our mind. And the wellness of our mind cannot be separated from the wellness of our spirit.