A few years ago I had a scary encounter with a masked man wielding a knife. I remember him with gratitude, though, since he was an orthopedic surgeon to whom I paid thousands of dollars to correct some problems with my left foot...
For 3 months the surgeon forbade bicycling, hiking, running and other activities that might endanger the healing process. Basically, anything that sounded fun he vetoed. On one visit I tried to talk him into permitting a premature golf match. "Some close friends get together only once a year, and this one's important to me. I've been practicing my swing, and if I use only my upper body, and keep my legs and hips very still, could I join them? I think I could keep most of my weight on my right foot."
Without a flicker of hesitation, my doctor replied, "It would make me very unhappy if you played golf within the next two months."
"I thought you were a golfer," I said, seeking sympathy.
"I am. That's how I know you can't swing without rolling that foot inward and putting weight on the bones that are trying to heal."
Of course my doctor had nothing against my playing golf; a fellow golfer, he understood my frustration. Yet he also had my best interests at heart. It would truly make him unhappy if a patient were to indulge in some short-term pleasure that might jeopardize a full recovery. He wanted me to play golf the next year, and the next, and the rest of my life, and for that reason he could not sanction a match so soon after my surgery. (Phillip Yancey, Rumours)
Why should I seek out God’s view on how to live my life? For the same reason I seek my doctor’s opinion. I defer to my doctor, trusting that we share the same goal, my physical health, but that he brings to the process greater wisdom and expertise. And I am learning to view sins as spiritual dangers - much like carcinogens, bacteria, viruses, and injuries - that must be avoided at all costs, for my own sake. I am learning to trust that God wants the best life for me in this world, not some diminished, repressed life.
Related Text Illustrations
Contributed by Melvin Newland on Feb 26, 2001
The Book of Judges ends with these words, "In those days there was no king," no law. And because there was no law, "every man did what was right in his own sight." Can you imagine what a world like that would be? Just look at Los Angeles in 1992, or Miami in the 1980’s, or Watts in the ...read more
Contributed by Michael Luke on Nov 3, 2001
Back during the days before automobiles, two preachers met in a certain town. The first asked the second how he was doing. “Furious!” replied the second. “Someone has stolen my bicycle and I think it’s one of my church members! I ...read more
Contributed by Troy Mason on Feb 6, 2002
The Pharisees and teachers of the law competed with one another in strictness. They had atomized God’s law into 613 rules and bolstered these with 1,521 emendations (Yancey 132). We can see the length to which this went from the following facts. For many generations the Scribal Law was never ...read more
Contributed by Robert Leroe on Jul 2, 2002
The slogan of the Outback Steak House is “No Rules—Just Right”…but I suspect that if you showed up and didn’t wait for the hostess, took a table ahead of people waiting, ordered something not on the menu, then ...read more
Contributed by Donnie Martin on Oct 26, 2002
A businessman well known for his ruthlessness once announced to writer Mark Twain, “Before I die I mean to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. I will climb Mount Sinai and read the 10 Commandments aloud at the top.” “I have a better idea,” replied Twain. “You could stay in ...read more