Lutheran Church Extension Fund

Is poor physical condition sneaky? Well, sometimes.

Monthly theme: Intentionality

Reading time: two minutes

Fleetwood Mac sang, “I can’t help it ’bout the shape I’m in…” True. Sort of.

We’re all born with certain physical limits, some with greater limits than others. The sudden onset of illness or an injury will certainly affect our physical capacity.

But while physical incapacity is sometimes thrust upon us suddenly, it’s more often sneaky. The answer to “How did that happen?” is often “One bite at a time.”

Sometimes being in poor physical condition sneaks up on us.

There’s no indication that the young men of Nebuchadnezzar’s palace deliberately tried to be in worse shape than Daniel and his friends, but unhealthy choices led to their noticeably poorer physical condition.

An intentional physical wellness plan begins with appreciation for the wondrous gift of these bodies of ours, and the grateful response of good stewardship of this body and the gift of life.

We’re not Gnostics.

The body is not evil: we’re flesh and bone because God made us that way said it was good. We are fearfully and wonderfully made, creatures designed by our Creator to love him with heart and soul and mind and with our strength.

Do you remember the end of “Back to the Future” when Dr. Brown threw a couple pounds of garbage into the Mr. Fusion reactor on his DeLorean time machine? Our bodies were designed by God to process the weirdest collection of calories into life; our body turns an odd assortment of foods into muscles, bone, and skin.

Your body can even process the occasional banana split, adult beverage, or cigar (emphasis on occasional!)

Our bodies are not time machines. They need intentional care.

We’re not designed to process unlimited amounts of polyunsaturated fats and refined sugars. Under-utilized bones, muscles, and ligaments deteriorate. (Remember: sitting is the new smoking.)

But I’m convinced that the resilience of our bodies is a testimony to the grace of God and His enduring providential care for us.

The healing work of Jesus continues today. No matter our poor choices from the past, our bodies are tremendously resilient.

It’s never too late to make better physical wellness choices.

An intentional eating plan focuses more on food the way that our Creator designed it: vibrantly colored fruits and vegetables, lean meats, and lots of clean water to drink.

Within the limits of infirmity that God has allowed, (and the natural progression of age), God blesses an active lifestyle of walking, movement, and deep breathing with vitality and energy.

A daily routine of a little stretching and an appropriate amount of strain results in flexibility, strength, bounce in the step, upright posture, healthy digestion, free breathing, and clear, clean, flexible veins and vessels.

The daily sabbath of plenty of restful sleep is your super-power. Trustful surrender to the Lord’s care for the renewal He gives in sleep puts you way out in front of Nebuchadnezzar’s night-owls!

The Lord’s specialty is new beginnings. Celebrate the gift of life and strength today. In loving appreciation for God’s good gifts, take care of yourself.

Thanks for reading.