Danielle Ofri in the New York Times points out:
"Our bodies evolved to live about 40 years and then be finished off by a mammoth or a microbe. [However,] thanks to a century of staggering medical progress, now now live past 80, but evolution hasn't caught up; the cartilage in our joints still wears down in our 40s and we are more obese and more sedentary that we used to be, which doesn't help."I hear from so many people in their 40s that they are already getting knee and hip replacements; they have high blood pressure, diabetes, and are having heart attacks, and many even are seeing their first bouts of cancer.
So in many ways, the 40s really sucks!
Many of us would be dead many times over already, if not for G-d's grace and the miracles of medical science and technology these days.
So life is prolonged, and we even often get pain relief, while we are able to continue forward with our families, communities, and careers.
As we read in Psalms 39:4
"Show me, LORD, my life's end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is."Perhaps that's what illness is...G-d showing us that we are just mortal and that life is short and we need to make the most of every minute.
When everything is going just swell, how easy it is to become arrogant and forget how mortal we really are.
My father used to say:
"G-d doesn't let any tree grow into the heavens."By our 40s, when most of us are growing our families, careers, wealth, and stature--unfortunately, maybe we sort of need that kick in the pants from Above.
G-d is our maker and our teacher, and he guides us to the end of our days, and hopefully they are reached with wisdom, meaningful contributions, piety, and love. ;-)
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)