Pastor Don Wolan

Pastor Donald Wolan
Downriver Christian Community Church
Melvindale, Michigan

Monday, January 24, 2011

You Don't Know Jack!

Over the weekend, fitness guru Jack LaLanne passed away. Jack was 96 when he died and was well known for his television exercise program in the 1960s and early 1970s. He was also a pioneer of the current fitness movement and self-appointed hawk of his name brand juicer.

I remember staying home sick from school and watching his television program and following him as he did different exercises with nothing but a chair and towel. Jack was always looking healthy and buff as he appeared on his show in a short-sleeved exercise jumpsuit with his biceps bulging. Running around his set was a large white German Shepherd who was either getting in the way of Jack or lying on the floor huffing and puffing. Even the dog got into the act on Jack's show! To really get viewers motivated, Jack had some cheesy organ music accompanying him as he did his exercises. Every once in a while, Jack would display his strength and endurance by performing some attention-grabbing and self-promoting stunt. One time he did over 1,000 push-ups in approximately 20 minutes!

The one thing I really remember about Jack was something that he said years ago. Someone asked him if he ever thought about dying. He told the interviewer that he was not going to die because it would be bad for his reputation! I'm sure he was only joking, but it should have driven home an important point to all who listened. That point is that one day we are all going to die and no amount of exercise or eating right will trump that event. Most people don't like to think about dying, let alone preparing for it, but it is a fact we must all eventually think about and prepare for.

As Christians, we believe that Jesus conquered death once and for all. His resurrection from the dead proved to all creation that He is "Lord of the Living and the Dead" and that He is "The Living One who is alive forever and ever!" Through faith in Him and His finished work, we too can have that eternal life - not a temporary and deteriorating physical life like Jack LaLanne and all of us live, but an eternal life based on the promises of Jesus to all who believe. The scripture says that physical exercise is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.

May we have the same zeal to live for God and His message as Jack LaLanne had for his message and life. For if we do, we can say like Jack jokingly remarked - we are never going to die!

Pastor Don

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