Prior Condition
by Sydney Avey

As we play musical chairs with our health care, scurrying to keep a seat in the game whenever the media sounds an alarm, some of us worry we will be shut out by a prior condition.

In a sense, we all have a prior condition. If the Bible is to be believed, we all carry within us the effects of sin and the seeds of death. It's just a question of how and when the condition presents itself.

Some of us believe in preventive care. Others rely on the miracles of modern medicine and still others stuff tobacco in a cheek, reach for a second donut and decide: life is short. Let's not worry. The end is the same, dust to dust, though the journey might be different. Or not: the health-conscious person can end up in a hospital bed and the ne'er-do-well can end up on the news celebrating a centennial birthday.

Don't stop reading, it gets worse. There is the issue of pain. Sometimes I like to go to Jesus about as much as I like to go to the dentist. When I had braces on my teeth I made regular visits to get them adjusted. The adjustment itself didn't hurt, but for days after my mouth was a maw of pain. Teeth move in miniscule increments. The vision of these small calcified soldiers lined up to form the perfect bite kept me going, though.

Attitude adjustment is similar. I know that I need a more perfect view of justice. I know I need to make major lifestyle changes to be the writer I want to be. Putting myself under the yoke is asking for pain.

It occurs to me that Jesus knows about my prior condition and is willing to offer me insurance anyway, if that's what I want. The policy itself is free, but apparently there are co-payments for some of the services, confession and prayer to name a few.

You can probably think of more.

Sydney Avey writes and blogs in the Sierra Nevada Foothills. She is the author of The Sheep Walker's Daughter.

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