There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
Proverbs 14:12 KJV
“Is this all there is?” sighs the aging baby boomer, surrounded by very considerable possessions. Having bought into the grab-all-you-can-get philosophy of the 1980s, boomers have every material thing their hearts desire. Yet they feel curiously empty and disappointed.
Isn’t that a common human problem?
Yes, and it’s getting worse. More and more Americans are living longer, healthier lives than before. Yet surveys show that they feel less and less satisfied.
Our hopes are continually being inflated by grandiose and unrealistic advertising, self-help gurus who promise the moon, and our childlike faith in medicine’s ability to cure all of our ills. As disappointments pile up, we shuffle along looking for the missing places of our lives.
Are people ever really satisfied?
Early on we dream of wealth, fame, and success, of having what we want and doing as we please. But can you think of a multimillionaire athlete who isn’t itching for a bigger contract? Or a wealthy celebrity who hasn’t felt drawn to do yet another commercial, endorse a bigger product or produce a new book? Where is the business executive who wouldn’t jump at the next big deal or lust after another merger?
On another level, do you know a teenager who is satisfied with his/her looks, clothes, friends? On the face of it, humans appear to be creatures of insatiable desires.
Is this why so many people turn to drugs?
In today’s fast-paced life, people often feel so pressured and stressed, so full of pain and disappointment, and so hopeless that they become increasingly willing to gamble their health and even their lives on almost anything that promises relief, no matter how temporary. “Follow your feelings,” they are urged. “If it feels good, do it.” “Hurry, life is passing you by.”
For every skid row bum there are scores of closet alcoholics. And for every street punk looking for a hit, there are so many so-called respectable people numbing their pain with prescription pills.
But lasting joy doesn’t come in snorts, and well being doesn’t come from bottles and pills.
Gratitude and compassion aren’t sold in the drugstore or on the street.
So where can I get joy and peace—those good things?
The Bible says that following our “fleshly” or “natural-feelings” leads to negative results like immorality, debauchery, selfish ambition, drunken orgies, fits of rage.
The Bible also says that God wants better things for us, such as peace, joy, and healing. These gifts, however, come through cultivation of our spiritual nature.
Weekly church attendance is good medicine. That’s what Dale Matthews, MD., of Georgetown, University reports after reviewing more than 200 studies on the connections between religion and health. Religion has positive effects on patients dealing with drug abuse, alcoholism, depression, cancer, high blood pressure, and heart disease.
Are such spiritual themes really relevant to life today?
You bet! Look at alcoholism, for instance. The medical miracles and the technological advances of the past half century have hardly touched this disease. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) continues to offer the most consistently effective treatment with the best long-term results. AA uses a 12-step program that involves a recognition of human helplessness and the acceptance of a Higher Power. Similar 12-step programs, based on the philosophy of AA, are proliferating in almost every area of human need. They are bringing healing to thousands for whom medical care, drugs, counseling, and human solutions have failed.
Today we are witnessing a renewed search for values, a resurgence of faith, and an increasing acceptance not only of a Higher Power but of a personal, caring God.
Could this be just another fad?
This so-called fad has strong roots in reality. One of the most exciting breakthroughs in recent years has been the discovery of the strong and close relationship of the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual components of human beings.
This is a radical departure from the past. For centuries it was believed that body, mind, and spirit were separate entities that functioned independent of each other.
Now we’re discovering that such things as anger, fear resentment, and distrust can actually produce effects on the body that weaken its immune system and open the door to disease. Conversely, positive emotions, like joy, faith, and trust, produce protective substances that strengthen the immune system and protect the body from disease. Harboring bitterness and hatred, and nurturing negative thoughts and feeling can make us sick; cherishing positive thoughts and feelings can make us well—literally.
Trust in Divine power… means getting to know God well enough to trust him for present and future well-being. Whom can you trust? Trust is like a bank account — if you build it up through daily deposits, it’s there when you need it for an emergency.
Humans find focus, purpose and meaning beyond creature comforts, needs, and desire through a relationship with God and adherence to his commandments.
What does cultivating my “spiritual nature” involve?
It could involve getting acquainted with that special Book, the Bible, singing praise songs, and praying for the special “fruit of the Spirit,” such as—“love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, humility, self control.” (Galatians 5:22, 23).
We are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14) We don’t arrive in this world with only the minimal equipment needed for survival. We are given a conscience to keep us on track: a full range of feelings and emotions to enrich our lives; and a brain that we can never use up or wear out.
Health and fitness are not enough. Neither are wealth, fame, good looks, or power. God has reserved a “special place” for Himself in every person’s heart; as long as that space is vacant, everything this world has to offer will not fill it.
The ultimate lifestyle will be a life of spiritual growth that will supply the missing pieces and fill the empty spaces. The result will be a life of quality and fulfillment that will stretch beyond this life.
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. (Isaiah 26:3)
Beyond Good Health
Good health is not the pinnacle of existence. Many who are otherwise healthy carry within themselves a deep longing for something more. At the root of our being is the need for greater purpose and meaning in life.
Poets and wise men have long affirmed this. Today even scientists are beginning to look into the spiritual dimensions of life.
Like all things of value, cultivating the spiritual side of our nature takes an investment of time. Attention must be shifted from immediate concerns to deeper, more lasting issues. We need to take time for stillness, away from commotion and noise of our everyday lives.
We need time to explore the deeper side of ourselves, to read inspiring words, or just to walk in the sunshine and fresh air.
When was the last time you allowed yourself to really enjoy the people closest to you? How long has it been since you joined with others who find faith and inspiration in a Higher Power?
We live today in a most exciting and yet paradoxical age. We can tune our radios and TVs to sounds and pictures coming from outer space or across the ocean. And yet many persons fail to tune their souls to God and to hear His voice.
The Spiritual Dimensions
Where do you turn for renewal? What is your core, your center of being?
Take some time to step back and think about what is truly important to you. Look beyond the clamor of daily activity to the universal themes of life. Choose an inspiring book, listen to some uplifting music, give thanks for the marvelous gift of life and health. Each breath you take is a miracle. Every morning is a new start.
So Start Now!
[Spirituality], then, is not a piece of information for the mind. It is a way of life, which includes all that we are, all that we do, all all our hopes, and aspirations, all the moments of our lives.
Used by permission from Dr. Hans Diehl. From the book Health Power, pp. 210-213
“Christ Died For Our Sins”
“But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes We are healed.” Isaiah 53:5
“For scarcely for a righteous man will die, yet peradventure for a good man some would dare to die. But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:7-8
“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.” Acts 16:31
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
Only Trust Him! — NOW!
Shorter’s Health Manual, Gwen Shorter, p. 201, Homeward Publishing Ministries 4th Edition, 2017