“Let us not give up meeting together . . . but let us encourage one another.”
- Hebrews 10:25
My dentist’s office called the other day reminding me of my upcoming six-month cleaning and checkup appointment next week. Shortly after a warning light came on in my car indicating it is time for an oil-change and routine maintenance. Then I noticed on my calendar that I am due to visit the dermatologist soon for a routine checkup on my bald head. Similarly, the heating and air company we use recently left two messages that it is time for spring maintenance on our AC units before the hot summer months arrive.
There once was a time when people only went to the dentist when they had a toothache, or to the doctor when they were sick or hurt. Cars went to the shop when they broke down, and the repairman was called when the AC unit quit working. Routine maintenance – or wellness checkups, the term the medical profession prefers to use – is relatively new, so it seems, over the past fifty years or so.
No doubt the promotions among various professions and product vendors for regular checkups and routine maintenance have added substantial revenue streams to their bottom lines, but not without, in all honesty, tremendous benefit to the consuming public. Consider, for instance, how life expectancy has increased, and not simply living longer but healthier as well. Seventy is now the new fifty as they say. And cars? There was a time when after three to five years of normal driving a car began to wear out. Now it is not unusual for an automobile, properly maintained, to remain reliable for years.
If regular routine checkups are healthy for automobiles and AC units, as well as dental and general health, how might the same principle apply to our spiritual and emotional wellbeing? Here is my experience. Over the past twenty-five years I have been meeting every Tuesday morning with a small group of men for a spiritual wellness checkup during which there are three simple questions for which we hold each other accountable: (1) How is your relationship with God? (2) What are you reading or studying to support that? (3) How are you reaching out to others in a Godly way? The result has been, for each of us, that our spiritual and emotional health has done nothing but increase. “Let us [then] not give up meeting together . . . but let us [continue to] encourage one another.”