Spiritual growth makes us ever more aware of the totality of our lives. We are far more than the frame and canvas of mankind; we are the living embodiment of God. We are the Emanuel of song. We are truly the spirit of love. We are meant to be where we are and we have much work to do. Caring for the frame and canvas of ourselves is a means of caring for God.
As our Year of Healthy Living unfolds, we turn to God’s promise to prosper us and bring us hope and a future found in Jeremiah 29:11. We pray for a future filled with good health and well-being. But those things, like material things, come with a price and a sacrifice.
A commitment is necessary to make changes that evolve over time. Changing our health is a time-consuming event that has a rich payoff. It is within God’s plan that we work this out. If we make healthy choices for our bodies we can impact the likelihood of diabetes, harmful cholesterol levels, hypertension, and cardiovascular trauma.
For the first time in history, many say, parents will outlive their children. The reason behind such a futuristic prediction is that today’s children are less mobile and less likely to involve themselves in athletic pursuits. Many are heavily addicted to sedentary interests such as TV and computerized gaming. But, if we encourage ourselves to model the healthy life, perhaps America’s children will respond with an interest in health and longevity.
For instance, if we choose to replace every soft drink with water, imagine the impact that it would make on our bodies in a single year. Or, if we have been sedentary, we might like to commit to walking for one mile daily to start the day. Removing caffeine from our lives is a potential positive that we may reach for.
Let’s look at the example that Jesus set and what he, himself might have done during the course of a day. In all likelihood, he rose early and went to bed early. He ate fruit, lamb, fish, olives, vinegar, and honey and drank wine and water. All have health benefits. He walked an enormous amount.
He was a carpenter who carried lumber, and worked with hand tools that required strength and stamina. And, at age 12, he went to the temple to learn and question temple elders. He was described as growing strong “in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man” (Luke 2:40).
If we truly follow the life of Jesus, we hope to follow him in his design for our lives. Fitness is more than a fad; it is a plan for a healthier you and me. Christ lived and died for our quality of life. Move away that TV, turn off that iPad, put on your walking shoes and begin living!