I actually got up early on my day off and shaved for this.  (Truthfully, if that wasn’t superficial enough, I don’t know what came over me, but I actually used my wife’s shampoo thinking it may smell “healthier” than my normal shampoo.)  No, I wasn’t meeting the president or a super-model; nor was I applying for a doctoral program or a new job.

I had to get a health examination for life insurance.

OK, here’s the skinny:  there’s a price difference between people who have “Premier” health and those who have only “Primary” health.  (Primary is just a sterile word to call you average.  There’s a level below Primary, but there’s no way I’m conceding that!)

Now, I’m not sure if you have to have won an Olympic Decathlon to reach the exclusive qualifications for Premier or not, but I was going into this examination with my game face on.  Literally–a clean-shaven, shampoo-ed up game face.  I was going to do everything in my power to qualify for the upper-echelon classification.  (It saves me $12 a month.)

As I scrubbed extra hard in the shower that morning, my mind raced to ALL of the possible criteria that go into having a convincing enough physical resume to be classified as [blow the trumpets]…Premier.  In my favor:  I’m a pastor–we live real clean.  Yay, Me!  1 point.  Height/weight ratio.  [Ooooo.  This one’s gonna be tight.]  Now, I’ve been cutting weight over the last 6 months, but I’m a little stockier than my height would probably allow for when the geek squad in the home office computates my numbers and compare them to their actuarial tables.  One point for Primary.  1 to 1.

So, my mind started thinking about everything:  Does having all your teeth matter for how they factor long term health (ability to eat and all when I’m old)?  Do they give me an edge-up if I don’t smoke?  Will they accept that I got all A’s in junior high?  I also blog for cathartic emotional health.   Does that count towards a healthy long life?  Does thinning hair tilt the decision one way or another?  Please, please ask me if I did the P90X recently!  Check mark in my column if they do.  Plus, I recently read a statistic that husbands with blond wives actually get paid 8% more on their jobs over a lifetime compared with men of wives who aren’t.  (Wonder if there’s some bleed-over to living longer, too.  Please ask me if my wife is blond if it matters on my categorization of health.  She is.  On second thought, knowing my wife is blond may count against me somehow, too!)

Oh, the many ways this could go!  My nervous anticipation built!

So, the long-awaited Examination (notice the capital ‘E’) finally came.  I made sure I had bullet-pointed all my great health positives in case I could slip them in to influence the decision.  All that preparation and then the grand diagnosis took a whopping 10 minutes and she asked me nothing.  Nothing!  My wife’s hair color?  No.  If I blog?  No.  My occupation?  Not a word.  Not even if I’ve P90X’d recently.  How could I prove my health’s worth if all she had to go on was…oh, yeah…my actual statistics?  REALITY is all I have to prove my health?  I wanted her to know all my intangibles!  I still don’t know if I made it in.

When we cross Eternity’s threshold, will we get measured on a Heavenly actuarial to determine our rank or even our simple ability to get in?  Is it just about doing well by comparison to everyone else?  Is that how we obtain a “Premier” mansion?  What if we’re not actually even good enough?  What if God doesn’t ask for our intangibles?

Friends, He’s going to ask one question alone:  What did you do with Jesus? Life is the Exam for that answer.


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