OUTDOOR TRUTHS: The "Why" of Living
By Gary Miller
It’s amazing how deer are transformed from summer to fall and winter. In the hot months my trail camera’s pictures are of deer that look like they’re about ready to die. Their hide is patchy with hair, ticks cover parts of their body, and you seemingly can count every rib on their frail frame. And while some do die from various issues related to the heat, most make it to the colder, more comfortable months. As they arrive to better days, that same exterior that once looked unhealthy, thin, and weak, becomes thick with hair and fat, and as muscular-looking as if they had changed their diet and began a new exercise program. Wait a minute!
That’s exactly what they have done. They changed their diet and increased their activity. In the summer deer are filling themselves on the various salad combinations. As the days move along, fruit is added to the meal until the entrée of nuts begin to fall from the trees. These acorns come in various sizes and tastes and provide the nutritional profile the deer need to get ready for a cold winter. When there is a bumper crop of acorns, deer can gain several pounds in only a couple of weeks. And in order to find other trees that are holding this favorite food of theirs, the deer must move around, more than they did in the summer. There you have it. Eating better and exercise produces a healthier body. But we knew that all the time; didn’t we?
What goes for deer goes for you and me. But while deer are forced into their salad-eating starvation period because there is nothing healthier around, we are dependent on self-control and accountability. Especially in civilized countries, we have to learn to say no to the bad things and yes to the good ones. We have to choose what is best. The choices we make, however, become easier when our “Why” matters the most. “Why” am I doing this? Let me put it this way. We are more willing to make changes in our lives when the alternative is dying. Let me simplify again. When the doctor tells you you’re going to die if you don’t quit drinking, you quit drinking. When the doctor tells you, you’re going to die if you don’t lose weight; you exercise and get on a diet. When the “why” matters the most, we are more likely to make changes. And perhaps the greatest “why” is the one that says, “Because I don’t want to die!”
I do think, however, we don’t need to wait until we get the “why” of dying before we can choose correctly. I think the “Why” of living and the “Why” of purpose can work as well. For a Christian the “Why” of taking care of our bodies is because it is called the temple of God and it is the instrument that God uses to carry his message. It is God-designed with a Godly purpose, and it is the only one we will ever have. Don’t wait until the doctor gives you the “Die Why” before you do what God wants you to do anyway.
Gary Miller can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org