Glenn McDonald shares that when his dad was 92 years-old they went to see his doctor. Dad had circulation issues in one of his legs that was potentially life threatening. A few years earlier, in fact, he had spent several days in the hospital because his leg had become infected. The doctor was hopeful but cautious.
He told Dad, “There’s no infection right now, but your leg could easily become infected again. There’s one thing you can do to prevent future problems more than anything else: wear compression socks.” He raised his own pant leg and said, “See, I’m wearing them myself.” He was modeling his own good advice. “I know it takes a few extra minutes every day to put them on, but it’s worth it.”
Then the doctor said to Glenn, “When you preach to people and give them advice, knowing their very lives are at stake, isn’t it true that only two or three people out of ten will actually do what you recommend?” Glenn confirmed that was the truth. The doctor turned back to Dad and said, “I’ve given you my best advice, but only two or three will follow it. I hope you are one of them.”
Dad went home and said to his wife, “The doctor wants me to wear compression socks, but I’m not going to do that.” “Wait, what?” Glenn said. “Dad, didn’t you hear what the Dr. said? This is a matter of life and death!” After mulling it over for a month, Dad made the choice to buy a pair of compression socks and wore them everyday of the last four years of his life.
At the end of the Torah, the first five books of the Bible, God makes a dramatic offer: “See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction…Choose life so that you and your children may live.” (Deuteronomy 30:15, 19)
There’s a world of difference between hearing good counsel and choosing to embrace it. James 1:22 tells us, “Be not merely hearers of the word, but doers of the word.”
As we enter into the 40 days of Lent, is God speaking to your heart about anything or anyone? Jump on it! His abundant and eternal life is on the line for you both.
Rev Dr William Lewis