16 June, 2009

Healthy Habits are an Act of Discipleship

Below are some headlines from a well-known news website.

"Is the Economy Making You Fat?"

"Blow Your Diet? Blame Your Brain."

"How the Recession Wrecked My Cholesterol"

"Too Little Sleep May Raise Blood-Pressure"

All of these headlines make an excuse for living an unhealthy life. That implies that an unhealthy life is not something natural, but instead something that is brought upon by other forces. It is time to recognize that perhaps the busier, more convenient, more "advanced" lifestyle our society proposes is not in fact the right way to live. If a life-style is compromising the very breath that gives us life, I think it is time to re-evaluate.

I've got a headline for you. "The Body is a Temple."

So, let's evaluate this metaphor.

Would you board up the doors of a temple or church like fat and plaque from poor eating habits dam up the arteries of your heart?

Would you keep all of the windows latched and never allow fresh air into a temple like keep fresh air from your lungs when you smoke or pollute the air?

What if your active temple or church hung a sign on the door that said, “No services today, we’re too busy and too tired.”? Why is it okay to hang out those excuses when you should be exercising your body?

No temple or church could withstand constant use without downtime for maintenance and care. Why do you expect your body to work well without sleep and leisure?

These items only have to do with our physical and mental health. What about our spiritual health?

I received an e-mail recently that told of a man who had decided to quit going to church. He said to a friend, “I’ve been going to church for years, but I don’t remember the topic of a single sermon.”

The friend replied, “I’ve been married 30 years now and my wife has made me supper every night. I don’t remember a single meal she made me, but I know if I hadn’t eaten them, I wouldn’t be alive today.”

So let’s take a stand! You are not called to live life as a consumer. You are called to live life as a disciple.

As a disciple we must have discipline.

Discipline: (n.) activity, exercise, or a regimen that develops or improves a skill; training

So, I’ve dug into my files and come up with a discipline from Fr. Al McBride for “Temple Maintenance”. Fr. McBride is a Norbertine at St. Norbert’s Abbey in De Pere, WI.

Everyday do 6 things:

1. Something Good for Others

2. Something Good for Yourself

3. Something that you don’t want to do, but needs to be done

4. Physical Exercise

5. Mental Exercise (ie: reading, writing)

6. An original prayer everyday by naming your blessings (lots will be constant, but everyday something will be new or original).

What maintenance have you done on your temple today?

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