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My turn, David P. Nelson: Convenience is killing us

By David P. Nelson

Ever since the beginning of time, humankind has strived to improve the conditions of existence. Once survival was pretty much a given, then there was the motivation to make life easier.

Rather than endless toil just to make it, there was a natural propensity to make things easier, efficient, safer and dependable.

So came the development of bows and arrows, sling-shots and the use of fire. Living could be devoted to relationships, thinking and communicating.

History tells us that human beings developed into organized orders, familial clans, interdependent societies and even into larger groupings for collective safety, shared skills, protective care, food supplying, mutual support and leadership development. Everything came together as an order that had deep roots of appreciation for what had gone on before. There was a longing for meaning and understanding.

Surely there was some force or super power behind it all. In good order, humankind was knit together in a common bond that reinforced the reality of our finiteness and a divine creator behind it all.

To follow this, Creator God was a pathway to understanding, meaning, direction and care. From our perspective today, this God awareness became the key to our true development, growth and being.

But with that declaration, history brings us to understand that our upward strives have also brought us to disclaim the creator God and replace him on our own terms. We can do anything — just give us the motivation, tools, intellect and time.

We are fast growing to think that we no longer need an outside God. No wonder our world today worships all kinds of “things” to make life safer, tolerable and easier. Our easy chair has become our workplace.

Think of what is a part of our world today: Transportation means are of all kinds; inventions have made life easier with washers, dryers, microwaves, computers, cellphones, TVs, automatic transmissions and robotic medical technologies. Our latest innovations can bring us takeout meals, groceries and products directly to our homes. It is all so convenient. As long as we know what buttons to push on our iPhones, we can bring everything to our doorstep.

We actually can purchase an automobile via the internet and have it delivered directly to our door. Everything is so easy and convenient.

However, in this day and age, we also need to have exercise equipment, swimming pools, health spas and the like in order to stay healthy in this sedentary existence. Convenience is our health nemesis. It is actually killing us. Just check with the medical doctors and nutritionists. We have become our own worst enemy because of ease, convenience and large portions.

Our bodies are not genetically made to just eat and do nothing. We humans are not created to simply find the softest recliner, the easiest work device and the largest serving of our favorite food. Perhaps we need to rethink who we are, what we are doing and why we are doing it. If we are not careful, our bodies will deteriorate not from overdoing but from lack of doing.

Perhaps our lives need to be reprogrammed for doing not only what is convenient or easy but for doing what is good and healthy — both physically and spiritually. Just maybe that’s what our Creator God had in mind for us in the first place.

David P. Nelson is a retired Lutheran minister in Salisbury.

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