Posts Tagged ‘health’

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“ADVENTUROUS PERSEVERANCE” – Feb. 17

February 17, 2020

“As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good.” 2 Thess. 3:13

person pointing at black and gray film camera near macbook pro

Photo by Element5 Digital on Pexels.com

An adventure, by definition, is the unusual and exciting, typically hazardous, experience or activity. My wife and I embarked on an activity at the beginning of the year that is not unusual nor hazardous. Yet, adventure seems it’s most earnest title. The title might need to be categorized in order to do it justice. The adventure is more accurately described as an adventure of the mind. While still not unusual, it seems a little mentally hazardous to our self-esteem.

We have become rebels in the Code Red cult of weight loss. This particular cult is exemplified by specific rules; drink your water, get your sleep, eat real food, no snacking, and be done eating by 6:30 PM. Oh, and no sugar!

Our lives have been transformed due to this weight loss adventure. The adventure excitement emanates from when it is working, and swings to discouragement when it does not. One becomes a bit captive to the scale as rebels weigh every day. There is the adventurous excitement of fitting clothing long banished to the museum of “What I Once Was”. Then, there is the hazards of the plateaus of complete rule obedience yet the scale does not display equitable obedience.

These unusually hazardous circumstances baffles the mental resolve of any weight loss adventurer.

assorted map pieces

Photo by Andrew Neel on Pexels.com

This morning my scale sent me into the treacherous waters of uncertainty and questionable resolve. I had done everything right, earning the anticipation of celebrating seeing digits that I have not observed for 2 years. I don’t know why I create weight memorials in categories of 10, but I do. I excitedly anticipated the proclamation that I have once again entered into the 180’s weight class. For me, that can be 189.9 pounds. It simply means that I no longer will see a 1 and a 9 preceding the stubborn pounds that I am incrementally assaulting.

I have been on the frustrating plateau of the 190’s for a month and a half. Yesterday, the plateau of the 190’s was assaulted with monumental resolve and certainty. My morning  started with a chest and back workout of push-ups and pull-ups and ab-ups. Throughout the day, the rules of Code Red were followed like a good rebel religious zealot. The pincer maneuver, to ensure the success of this full assault, was a long bike ride augmented by the vigor of it being a windy day.

The assault had all the elements needed for a celebratory victory over the obstinate 190’s. Except, it didn’t. This morning arose with all the hope of a goal achieved only to be dashed by the reality of a 1.6-pound gain. Rather than basking in the celebratory light of realization, I find myself in the hazardous gloom of reality. Sometimes, when you do everything right, it simply doesn’t work out as planned and we rarely know the reason.

Expectation can be a hazardous adventure. Short-term expectations are the most hazardous. Perseverance characterizes the route through the hazardous barriers of unrealized expectations. One must trust the process, otherwise, hands flung-up in resignation will become the anthem of all our adventures.

Perseverance is essential for all adventurous endeavors; athletic, academic, career, relational, and spiritual. Perseverance is critical in the spiritual life of a Christian. Particularly, when we are residents in a nebulous plateau of spiritual doldrums. One might be doing everything right. One might make great assaults upon a goal with certain expectations only to experience regression and disappointment.

These are the times to trust the process. These are the times to trust the Perfecter.

“And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” Hebrews 12:1b-2a

Too often, we get fixated on the wrong things, just like my fixation with a number on a scale. My goal is not a number on a scale. My goal is to reduce the fat on my body. I want to be fit for all the benefits of fitness. Therefore, the short-term expectations of a scale display should not swing my resolve to such an extent.

empty highway overlooking mountain under dark skies

Equally, my spiritual resolve should not be dependent upon expectations that are surrogates of faithfulness. Our spiritual goal as Christians should be fruitfulness, blossoming from minds set upon the Spirit, eyes fixated upon Jesus, daily; even when we feel unfruitful. The perfection of our faith doesn’t follow a standard operating procedure, nor a regimented timeline.

Jesus is the perfecter of our faith. This means that He is perfecting our faith exactly in the manner that He intends. We just need to trust the Perfecter and keep our eyes fixed on Him while running our race even when the course before us doesn’t seem clearly marked out.

PRAYER: Lord, help me to praise you from the plateaus.  Help me to keep my eyes fixed on you.  Teach me to set my mind on the things of the Spirit.  Thank you for the faith that you have pioneered within me and the perfecting of the faith, which you have already accomplished.  Lord, don’t stop.  Please continue to perfect me in the power of your Spirit for you glory and fruitfulness.  I pray this in the precious name of your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen

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BENEFITS OF A HYDRATED SOUL – Dec. 4th

December 4, 2012

“O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.” Psalm 63:1

I have been a little preoccupied with water for a while. I read an article that being well hydrated should be part of every fitness program and that guys need to be drinking three liters of fluids per day and ladies need 2.2 liters per day. That is the minimum.  If you are working out, pregnant, breast feeding, sick, or live in a hot/humid climate, then you are supposed to drink more.  Dehydration results of falling below those targets which can have an assortment of health consequences.

I don’t want to experience those consequences so I developed a hydration plan – it consists of me drinking a lot of water. I am at work most of the day. Therefore, my plan has been to down 2/3 of my minimum fluids requirement at work.  I have a big glass to divide it all up. I have to drink four glasses before lunch and four throughout the afternoon.

Wow! That is a lot of water. Other than nearly wetting myself when a phone call went too long, it has be uneventful.  However, my company needs to start budgeting for carpet since I have significantly shorted the life cycle of the carpet between my office and the restroom.  If this is what normal fluid consumption is like, then maybe being a little dehydrated is not such a bad thing.

I have learned a several things from my little experiment:

  1. Being well hydrated and road trips are not a good combination; when your body is well hydrated, those fluids flow right on through. I realized that I regularly walked around a little dehydrated since the strategic location of restroom facilities has not been a concern for me.  Those fluids don’t normally flow through as they do when I am focused on being hydrated.
  2. It is too late when we rely upon thirst to indicate a need of fluids. Thirst is a physiological urge that comes from our body working to regulate a healthy fluid level.  However, it is a backup. Under normal conditions, most fluid intake actually comes through the normal courses of our day. (eg drinking with meals or at work breaks, water in food). To be able to drink my allotment, I had to drink when I was not thirsty. When I wait to be thirsty, I am already dehydrated.
  3. My “thirster” was out-of-whack.  I think that my body had adjusted to functioning in a partially dehydrated state.  Since I have been working at being hydrated, I get thirty quicker. It is not what I expected but I have found that my body is now more sensitive being under-hydrated and my “thirster” kicks in sooner.

My little water experiment got me to contemplating the hydration of my soul. I think we all can relate to the psalmist’s prayer for the thirst of his soul to be quenched by the abiding presence of the Lord. However, I wonder if our thirst is the same as the psalmist’s. He proclaimed a thirst accompanied by an earnest searching for his Lord. We know from the other Psalms that David drank daily from the deep well of the scriptures in his searching. I don’t see a lot of Christians earnestly seeking God like the Psalmist. That makes me think that the Church is full of dehydrated souls.

I wonder if our “thirsters” are out-of-whack.  The thirsting of the Psalmist is that of the well-hydrated man who is habitually filling himself with the scriptures before the sense of thirst strikes him.  Today, many believers are normally dehydrated and seek God only when their comfort has been jarred by need. I think that many Christians are so perpetually dehydrated of the presence of the Lord that they don’t even know what normal should be like. They hear the plea of the Psalmist and relate that to their own experience but their thirst has become accustom to being perpetually dehydrated; accustomed to a parched life. It is out-of-whack.

By the time they seek the Lord based on an out-of-whack thirst, many find themselves severely dehydrated. If you only seek God when you thirst for him then you are already parched. A well hydrated soul is the one that is drinking in the Lord when they are not thirsty.

There are several results of fully hydrating our souls on a daily basis:

  1. We can quickly respond in time of need.  We will not be in a critical unhealthy state so that we can respond appropriately to the various trials, temptations, suffering that we might face. We all will face various challenges.  We are better prepared for those challenges when we our souls are well hydrated in the Lord.
  2. Our desire for our Lord will increase. When we are regularly filling up on the Lord’s presence, our thirst for our Savior becomes more sensitive and reactive. Our thirst will be a better regulator of what is healthy for our soul.
  3. The Lord will overflow from us.  When we are saturated from seeking the Lord it is inevitable that it will come out of us (in a good way). I think that some folks are so dehydrated that every ounce of the Lord’s presence gets sucked up into their own parched soul. Our Father is so great that there is no limit to his presence. We need to be drinking deeply and that is when we will overflow into the world around us.

How is the hydration of your soul? Are you drinking deeply from the spring of living water?  There will be a day when we will no longer thirst. There will be a day when we no longer need to work at hydrating our souls but that is not today. Today, we need to be drinking before we thirst; drink deeply my friends.

PRAYER: Lord, You are the essential of my life. I will dry up and blow away without you refreshing me.  Lord, refresh me today – replenish me today. Father, I want to overflow with your presence; fill me with your Spirit. Give me a desire for you that is not my own.    Amen

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