Wednesday, December 12, 2018


I’ve been exercising more the last few months.  Going to the gym. Walking around the neighborhood from time to time. I’ve been a member of a fitness center for years, but in most months my monthly fee was more of a donation than anything else. And my neighborhood has always been there. I haven’t moved from a neighborhood that prohibited walking to one that allows it. Back in September I decided I needed to be a little more weight conscious and shed some pounds, but it was a decision not without some provocation.
Each summer I see my doctor for an annual checkup and, since I was displaying some concerning symptoms and given my age, he ordered me to get some tests done.  I went unhappily, but went nonetheless.  Everything seemed to go okay but, as it is, I waited anxiously to get the results from the doctor.  After a day or so his office called and with relief I heard the words, “You passed the test.” It was the next words that set me back a little. “However, Mr. Catteau, the doctor says you’re underconditioned.” 
“Underconditioned.” I had never heard that word before except maybe in a hair product commercial. But since I have little hair, I figured in this context it must mean something else. It meant I was out of shape. Overweight. Chubby. Yes, it was a word I had never heard before, but I knew what it meant. I was then told what I needed to do and I had a decision to make. Would I do it or not?
Our family is planning a trip to Nepal where one of our daughters is living. Nepal is famous for its beautiful and challenging treks through the Himalayan mountains, so my daughter suggested we go on one of these treks. Nothing dangerous or hazardous, but not such a good idea for “underconditioned” people.  I wanted to go but I had a decision to make. Would I get in better shape or not?
I know I won’t live forever, and I know I won’t be able to climb mountains much longer, but I want to live life well. I want to take control of those things that I can control – those things that will enable me to live my days most effectively and allow me to enjoy the days that God has given me. Sadly, I haven’t always done that. I had allowed myself to get “underconditioned.” It happened without me really even knowing it. But that’s how things like that usually happen, don’t they? Slowly but surely without us even realizing it.
Have you allowed yourself to slip into an underconditioned state? And what’s worse than hearing those words from a doctor’s office is hearing it from the Creator’s office. Maybe like me you need a checkup. A spiritual checkup. Maybe someone can warn you before it’s too late. Maybe it’s happened without you even knowing it. Maybe you’ve drifted further and further away from the person you want to be, the person you were created to be, to the person you are. If so, you have a decision to make.