Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Details of Discontent ~ Part Three

I think I can officially call this a series now that I am on to part three!  Today we are going to tackle not being healthy enough to do the things you want to do in life.

I’m not a doctor.  Nor could I be one even if I wanted to or really set my mind to it.  Most doctors have higher than a 4th grade math level.  I’m also not a fitness expert.  Fourth grade basketball practice almost gave me a heart attack tonight. So please take that into account as your read this.

Health is a tough one.  Exercise used to be part of life.  You walked places, scrubbed laundry, hauled water and milked cows.It’s getting harder in our post modern culture.  We have machines to do everything for us.   Now we sit in front of a computer, drive cars, and turn the dishwasher on.

As I thought about health I think there are two categories.  There are things you can control.  You can eat right and exercise.  Then there are things you can’t control.  Some people I know live with chronic pain, chronic headaches, diabetes, asthma and more.  Those are things that can’t be turned off or fixed.  I’m sure there are people that can chime in on the frustration that brings.  You can’t be healthy and live life when you are sick. 

For contentment in cases of chronic pain or disease we have to have a sense of why God allows suffering. Why does God let me be like this?  It means I can’t work, play with my kids or grandkids, or function in society.  It’s not fair.  Can we be content with what he’s given us knowing that it is his good and perfect will for our lives?  Being put in a position of weakness and humility is good for our hearts.  It makes us rely on him and not ourselves.

In the bible Job suffered greatly.  God allowed it.  The whole book is on his struggle with all that happened.  He found content and comfort in that fact that God is in control. He says in Job 2:10, “Shall we accept good from God and not trouble?”  Later on in this series, I am hopefully going to explore this more with a friend that does have chronic pain and suffering in her life.

That being said, for now I want to focus on things we can do.  There is more information out there on diet and exercise than anyone could read in ten lifetimes.  It’s hard to sort through it all.  As I’ve tried to lose weight and eat healthier I’ve read a bunch of books.  I love Health magazine, Super Foods and The Skinny.  There is growing medical evidence that diet and exercise can be part of preventing a lot of stuff Americans deal with like obesity, depression, heart disease, high blood pressure and even cancer.  In a report I read from a government health website it says:

“Because physical activity is a risk factor for many diseases and conditions, making physical activity an integral part of life is crucial.  Physical activity need not be strenuous to be beneficial.  People of all ages benefit from moderate physical activity, such as 30 minutes of walking five or more times a week.  In addition, physical activity does not need to be sustained for long periods of time in order to provide health benefits.  Repeated shorter bursts of moderate-intensity activity also yield health benefits.  In other words, walking in two 15-minute segments or three 10-minute segments is beneficial.”  http://aspe.hhs.gove/health/reports/physicalactivity

I have all this information at my fingertips and I still fail.  I keep thinking that if I just had a treadmill or a gym membership I would be fine. I have so many excuses for not doing what I should.  I like candy, I like to be lazy. I wish I could go back and eat right and exercise earlier in life.  But I can’t.  I wish I would’ve eaten better when I was pregnant.  I wish I would’ve eaten better yesterday.  There’s no denying when I’m eating better and exercising I feel good.  I’m trying to focus more on being healthy than skinny.  But I certainly hope that skinny is a side effect.  The problem is it also feels good to sit around and watch TV.  And it’s even better with a bowl of ice cream. 

I know what it takes and you probably do too.  I know I need to get some exercise.  I know I should eat less processed food and more fruits and vegetables.  Less sugar and more protein. 

The bible has something to say about how we treat our bodies.

1 Corinthians 6:18-20

Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.

That passage is directly talking about not sinning sexually with our bodies.  But I think it can be applied to health as well.  Our bodies were created by God for His purpose and glory.  If I just sit around and eat chips all day I’m going to be prone to obesity and heart disease.  In that condition, I won’t be much use in God’s work here on earth.  I can’t raise my family, serve in church, or help others if my health is poor.

The best teaching I have heard on health is from Beth Moore in Living Beyond Yourself.  She talks about finding a place of freedom between neglect and obsession.  Doing what needs to be done and not getting obsessed.

She also talks about making exercise an act of worship.  That’s why I love walking and running outside.  I can pray, enjoy creation and listen to praise music.  Now that winter is coming, I’ll have to do more inside exercising.

The point is to find what works for you and do it.  Then get on with life.

We live in a society where looks are so important.  I find I judge myself based on that.  I need to find my self worth in Christ.  He died for me.  He Loves me.  He made me just the way he wanted me.  Someday when I am with him,  he will give me a perfected body.  Then I will spend my days glorifying and praising God forever without a worry or care.

"But our citizenship is in heaven.  And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.”

Philippians 3:20-21


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