Over the past 3 years, my health has been all over the place. No, I haven't "let myself go" too much and gained a lot of weight, but I have lost sight of what it means to be healthy. Over the past 3 weeks I have returned to the gym to run, bike and lift weights. Health is a lifestyle. I'm learning this more and more as I am getting older. It is much more than a diet, or counting calories or even exercise.
"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." 1 Corinthians 10:31 (NIV)
Food: I love eating junk food. Over the past year I have tried to cut out a lot of coke, cookies, candy and other wonderful tasting food! One reason I have started replacing junk food is because of how it started to affect my health and fitness. I have learned that simply drinking more water and eating protein enriched foods help me feel better. One reason I have begun taking my health more seriously is due to being diagnosed with crohn's disease. Food plays a big role in how we feel whether the doctors tell us they do or not! I have had doctors tell me that I could eat whatever I want! Not really good advice there doc!
Exercise: If we are honest, most people do not exercise. I have made a commitment to workout (run, bike, weights) every week because I want to be in good health. I realized how quickly I lost my desire to exercise when the "busyness" of being in full-time ministry begun. Exercise is a conscious decision to do it even when we do not feel like it. It has been a blast to go and workout with my wife! We have committed together to encourage each other to go to the gym and push ourselves to be in good health. The goal is overall health, not to be overly indulged in drawing attention to self (like some of the "steroid guys" in the gym).
Mental Health: Stress definitely does not help improve our health! For those out there that are in the ministry, you know that stress is an ongoing struggle to manage. To be honest, this is an area of my life I struggle. I tend to "over-think" situations and it leads to stress and worry. I have begun to journal again on a regular basis. Journaling creates an opportunity to lay out my heart to God. I have found that I must continually surrender my finances, desires, struggles and prayers to God. The key is continually!
"A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body; jealousy is like cancer in the bones." Proverbs 14:30 (NLT).
"Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT)
Health is important because our mission on earth is important! To glorify God with our lives and help others come to know Christ!