“So, how are you feeling, Bobby?”
“Well, really I feel pretty great… certainly better than I deserve!”
As a physician, I don’t get that answer a whole lot. Most of my time is spent either tracking down what’s causing someone to feel poorly, or at least trying to correct unhealthy pathways that are leading toward sickness. But having some sense of the countless things that can potentially go wrong with the human body does give me an appreciation for what an amazing apparatus it is and how much is going right at any given time.
A sentence in the New Testament of the Bible says, “Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights….” The human body is one of those remarkable good gifts, and this time of year is a good time to stop a moment and be amazed and thankful for it.
Consider just a few of its stunning qualities:
- There are 2.5 trillion red blood cells in your body at any moment. To maintain this number, about two and a half million new ones need to be produced every second by your bone marrow.
- Overall, 25 million new cells are being produced by your body each second
- As you read this article, nerve impulses are traveling to and from your brain as fast as 170 miles per hour
- You have 60,000 miles of blood vessels tucked inside of you. End to end they could go around the earth twice and have 10,000 miles to spare.
- The acid in your stomach is strong enough to dissolve razorblades.
- Fortunately, you get a new stomach lining every three to four days to keep you protected from that harsh acid bath.
- The surface area of a human lung is equal to a tennis court, allowing for plenty of surface area for oxygen to be absorbed into the blood stream.
- So far researchers have counted over 500 different liver functions.
- Your nose can remember 50,000 different scents and many are strongly tied to memories.
- Even earwax production is necessary for good ear health. It’s actually a very important part of your ear’s defense system protecting the delicate inner ear from bacteria, fungus, dirt, insects and dehydration.
- Tears and mucus contain an enzyme (lysozyme) that breaks down the cell wall of many bacteria. And so the mucus that lines your nose and throat, as well as the tears that wet your eyes are helping to prevent bacteria from infecting those areas and making you sick.
- In one day, your heart beats 100,000 times; about 3 billion beats in a typical life time.
- The ear has over 25,000 tiny hair cells to help us hear each and every sound
- As you look around, your brain is almost effortlessly translating the 2-dimensional light patterns hitting the back of your eye into a full color 3-dimensional world for you to enjoy and interact with.
- It takes 17 muscles to smile and 43 to frown; give your face the easier job today.
We have been created with an amazing servant, our body. As we approach this Thanksgiving I hope you’ll take a moment to be thankful for this amazing gift, to steward it well, and to use it to serve your Creator and your fellow creatures.