An Ounce of Prevention is Better than a Pound of Cure

Early baseball game played at Elysian Fields i...

When I was a tweenager I hung out in front of Ed’s Department Store with the old men who lived in the small town where I grew up. They didn’t seem to mind me hanging around because I listened to all of the stories they told of their glory years. Most all of them were tobacco chewers and none of them could spit within a foot of the spittoon that was always present, but Ed the store owner didn’t seem to mind. I suspicion he liked having them around as much as I did. It took me a while to learn when they were lying and when they were telling the truth, but I wouldn’t have missed that time in my life for nothing. It was there I received some of the best advice a person can receive, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”  I can’t recall how many times I heard them old men say that, but it was never made more clear to me than one Sunday afternoon down at the small-town ball park where I learned first hand what it meant. I was the catcher for the small-town ball team and the guy pitching was the high school basketball coach. I called for a slider and he threw one that got down on me and hit the black edge on the back side of home plate and careened up and hit me in the middle of the location where the upper torso and the legs join. I rolled to the ground with pain pulsating throughout my midsection. I was a little slower than some kids my age before that dastardly pitch, but I tell you I was quicker than most by the time I got up off the ground. I remember as I was lying there on the ground with the old men’s sage advice of “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” ringing in my ears and sharp shooting pains racing throughout my aching body, asking myself, “Why didn’t you put that thing on?”  I’m here to tell you, I played baseball for a number of years after that day and I never again forgot my ‘ounce of prevention’. No sir, that ‘ounce of prevention’ became more important to me than my catcher’s mitt. It may as well have been made out of gold because it was the first thing in my bag and the first thing out. The thought of ‘something like this could never happen to me’ never again entered my mind.

The Apostle Paul wrote to the church at Ephesus, “Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” He then listed all the different pieces of armor we are to put on before we leave home. He went so far as to tell us why wearing God’s armor was important to the Christian. After reading what Paul wrote, and what I had experienced those many years ago, I soon realized the only difference between the ‘armor of God’ and that ‘Ounce of prevention‘ those old timers from my youth talked about is the size and shape of the equipment. Other than that – there is no difference. They are both designed to protect our vital areas, if you know what I mean. But if you are not wearing them when the action starts, you may find yourself in the same spot I found myself that Sunday afternoon down at the small-town ballpark, rolling around on the ground in unbearable pain with the words of the Apostle Paul ringing in your ears, “Dummy! Why didn’t you put on your protective equipment?” The dumb bug didn’t have to bite me more than once, no sir, I got the message loud and clear the first time around and hopefully you won’t have to be bitten more than once either before you understand that Paul knew what he was talking about when he issued that warning to the church.

‘An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’ is not the only sage advice those old timers passed along to me way back when we all hung out in front of Ed’s Department Store. And I can tell you after my experience at the ballpark that day, many of them became very clear to me, and I still practice them to this day. I believe they have saved me a lot of pain and embarrassment over the years, and I believe if you will give heed to what I have written in this short blog, somewhere along the line my advice will save you a lot of pain too. DThrash

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