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Running Red Lights
Photo: Andrea De Stefani
Today, I ran 15 red lights and at every intersection I received the blessing of the cops! In fact, the police were out in full force, riding their cycles, white helmets upon their heads. They donned long sleeve, white shirts, black pants, leather gloves and boots, as well. They led the way, plowing through every red light in downtown Phoenix. By now you’ve probably guessed it; I was part of a funeral motorcade making its way cross town to a local cemetery.

How ironic, I thought as I drove. The only time you can get away with running red lights is when you are dead, or someone you love is dead. But did you ever stop to think that running red lights is precisely the thing that will hasten our death? I’m not talking here about irresponsible driving; I’m referring to running red lights with our health.

For example:

We run a red light when we are tired but instead of resting we drink a cup of coffee and keep on going. 

We run a red light when we opt out for T.V. over exercise, even though we are overweight.

We run a red light when we wake up at 5:30 in the morning hacking and coughing, then light up our first cigarette of the day.

We run a red light each time we choose to eat junk food rather than a nutritious meal.

Have you been running red lights lately?

In my job as a chaplain, I come in contact with many people who have lost their health. And so many times they have no idea why. Recently, I met a 43-year-old man dying of esophageal cancer. His wife pleaded with me for an answer. “Why?” She kept saying. But through the course of our conversation she admitted he had been a pack-a-day smoker.

Not long ago, I sat in the living room of a 58-year-old man who had just died of colon cancer. His wife and friends shared with me that he was a scientific genius, an astronomer with a brilliant mind who held a number of patents. Almost as an after thought they remarked that he was the king of junk food. Every day he brought bags of rich, gooey pastries to work with him. “But he never gained a pound.” His wife marveled.

Our bodies are amazing and miraculous machines that can take a lot of abuse. But if we keep running red lights they will break down.

Each of us needs to educate ourselves in how to take care of these incredible bodies God has given us and then do everything we can to preserve them. Our bodies speak to us every day, if only we will learn to listen.

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By Kathy A. Lewis. Copyright © 2009 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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