Most of my columns focus on social issues, politics, the struggle for justice and equality, polarizing elements of our society, the needs of the downtrodden, the extravagances of the indulgent affluent, political corruption, or similarly serious concerns. This week, I want to make it more personal. It’s time for a wellness check.
There are too many distractions in our lives. Many we can’t control such as injury, illness or accident involving you or loved ones, the loss of those close to you, the spiraling cost of living, the pervasive presence of hatred and bigotry, the void of character, values and civility in society. These are realities we cannot control.
Let’s talk about things within our realm of influence. First, think positive. Optimism does not require you to close your eyes to reality. But no matter how dire your circumstance, the Bible tells us that worry will do nothing to bring healing or comfort to your predicament. Just the opposite, the more you decide to hand it to God, the lighter your burden.
Thinking positive is not escapism. The word of God says as a man or woman thinketh, so are they.
Does that mean your condition will magically right itself the minute you give it to the Lord? Frankly, we don’t know. We know Jesus has the power to heal or rectify you situation immediately, or next week, or next month, or next year or not at all, but still comfort you throughout.
It’s not our place to question the will of the Lord. So positive thinking translated, is demonstrating faith, opting to let go.
We know that medically, spiritually and psychologically, worry and stress cause more issues than they resolve. So, no matter how difficult it may be in the darkest, most painful, most complex moment, never stop trusting God. Think positive.
What else can we do? If you are able bodied, take care of yourself. Indulge in whatever level of exercise your body will allow on a consistent basis, not hit or miss, occasionally. The more you condition your body to endure, the more it will
allow you to accomplish. Aerobics activities contribute to heart and head health, no matter what your age. Exercise as strenuously as you can.
The next step is to watch our food intake. I purposely avoid the “d-word,” because it has become an anathema to me, who views the terminology to be as futile as New Year’s resolutions. Eating the right foods in the proper quantities can be life changing. And it goes beyond weight control, it impacts the digestive system and proclivity for various diseases. You are what you eat.
Along with the body, know that’s okay not to be okay mentally. When you need it, seek help. Whether a professional, pastor, friend, relative, or trusted colleague, share your struggles. No one should have to bear their burdens alone. Even if the remedies are not immediate, having someone to help you carry the load can be a powerful force. Don’t go it alone. Someone cares.
Keep laughter, levity and relaxation as part of your routine. Focus on your version of “me time” and shut yourself off from the world for a moment of peace and refreshment. It can be on Caribbean Island or at a neighborhood pool, a national park and mountain, or your own backyard. It’s not where you are. You can find your space in your own house. It’s all about attitude.
Lift your spirits by lifting the spirits of others. Donate to a worthy cause your time, talent or treasure. Make volunteerism a part of your natural existence and earn the gratification that selflessness brings.
Find that school, church, civic, or neighborhood organization that would welcome you dedicating a few hours a week. People need you. The poor. Homeless. Veterans. Children. Elderly. Find your calling in service.
Finally, faith and worship in your life is essential. If the global pandemic taught you nothing else, it should have verified the miraculous power of a living God who meets us at our needs and rescues us from the abyss time after time again. Read your Bible. Pray without ceasing. Forgive and ask forgiveness. Give God the glory in all ways, every day and muster a “hallelujah” even at your worst period of trials and tribulations.
This week’s column is a necessary diversion from the usual, because sometimes we need to take a break from those external challenges to delve into that which controls our life from within.
Try to get better sleep, take your vitamins, see your doctor if something is wrong, hang out with people who you know care about you and avoid those who are always negative or demeaning.
Believe the fact that all you really need is God. Never become too educated, too intellectual, too self-important or too neglectful to acknowledge Him in all your ways.
As for me, I am not ashamed to be a believer of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to offer salvation for everyone who believes. Pray even for your unfaith, and believe with the faith of no more than a mustard seed. Then watch Jesus fix it. Be blessed.