Summary: David, Pt 13 of 15
PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE (2 SAM 18:1-17)
I love sports. I took to soccer, ping-pong, and badminton in my younger days, and took up basketball and tennis in my thirties in America. There was no moving object I did not like. By the time I was 35, my knees couldn’t withstand the onslaught anymore. One morning my knees swelled up after a biking weekend and a Monday morning walk. After a day or two, the swelling went down but my knees lost its strength. I was reduced to walking; running was impossible.
Top orthopedic doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong with my knees and legs. One doctor told me I was bowlegged, one said my patella tendon was injured and another said I had osteoarthritis. For a few years I was seeing a Chinese doctor twice a week for $35 a visit. Massage reduced the pain and the stiffness but I still had no strength. It deteriorated so badly that I couldn’t climb the stairs or bend down and rise up without help. However, MRI revealed that my knees, the joints and structure were normal.
In the summer of 2003 I joined a fitness center. Five or six days a week I spent over an hour to rehab my knees. I remember the difficulty of using the leg press to push a 30 lb weight. After I vacated my seat, a high school girl pushed effortlessly against 150 lbs! I asked her what a normal high school girl could do. She assured me she was a soccer player.
After 2 years I have accomplished my goal of pushing 150 pounds. On top of that, I would skip, run, or jump for a joint total of 1,000 times. My knees could hardly bend before; now I am doing two sets of 50 squats a day.
It’s much harder to recover what one has lost than to work hard at retaining it. An African proverb says, “Two good days do not dawn in a row.” Good days do not last long or forever. David had to adjust his attitude and lifestyle due to the passing of youth, the loss of health, and his fall from power. However, a lot of his problems – and ours, I might add, were due to his taking for granted what he had and doing nothing to improve his lot. He allowed things to get to a point where rescue and restoration were unlikely and recovery and rehab were barely possible. He would survive but things would not be the same.
HELP IS NOT HELP WITHOUT HEALTH
David mustered the men who were with him and appointed over them commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds. 2 David sent the troops out-a third under the command of Joab, a third under Joab’s brother Abishai son of Zeruiah, and a third under Ittai the Gittite. The king told the troops, “I myself will surely march out with you.” 3 But the men said, “You must not go out; if we are forced to flee, they won’t care about us. Even if half of us die, they won’t care; but you are worth ten thousand of us. It would be better now for you to give us support from the city.” 4 The king answered, “I will do whatever seems best to you.” So the king stood beside the gate while all the men marched out in units of hundreds and of thousands.
A survey of more than 2,500 men and women aged 18 to 75 reported that older respondents were less likely than younger ones to fear aging, to think of growing older as something bad or say that the quality of life for the elderly has gotten worse in the last 20 years.
Two-thirds (66%) of those surveyed say old age begins at 70 or older. Among these, 28% consider someone old at age 80 and beyond. The good news is that 85% of people 65 to 75 are not afraid of getting old.
When asked their greatest worry about getting old, 35% of respondents express concerns about illness and failing health, followed by 31% who fear being unable to care for themselves and being dependent on others. 20% admitted their greatest worry is not having enough money.
What should give people more security as they age? Money was the No. 1 at 40%, followed by spouse (29%), children (12%), friends (5%), career (4%), or home (4%).
52% of women surveyed think they have to take care of their parents when they get older but only 41% of men think so. 48% say they would let their parents to choose whether to live with them or in a retirement home if their parents became unable to care for themselves (Parade magazine 12/12/93 “What They Say about Aging”).