Bearings for Health
It was a warm summer evening when 8 of us found ourselves sailing off the coast of Vancouver Island in the middle of the night. Intentionally, one of our group members was our instructor, attempting to teach us how to navigate in diverse conditions. On this particular night, in the blackness, we couldn’t tell the ocean’s ending from land’s beginning. We had to sail our vessel between rocks hidden below the waterline and into a bay with no visual clues of the potential dangers. A chart and a compass was all we were given.
Taking control of our physical health can seem like charting a course through dangerous and confusing waters. If you will allow me, I would like to act as your personal instructor and tell you how to “chart and compass” your way, in order to steer a course towards optimal health.
I have been keenly interested in researching, experimenting with and discussing health related topics for over 20 years. What have I discovered? The effectiveness of our leadership and the depth of our spirituality ARE directly linked to our physical health. As a pastor, this should have been obvious to me but it wasn’t. Very few people talk about our health as a spiritual response to our Creator.
This mini-series will look closely at three areas that will give you confidence and tools for the voyage ahead. We will look at God’s design, changing small habits and journeying with accountability.
So how do we navigate health? Our western culture uses guilt, shame, fads and pseudo-science. This is combined with unrealistic and confusing messages to convince you that you are not the right body type, not strong enough, and not healthy enough. The health industry wants you to hand over your credit card and promises to solve your problems within 30 days. Nonsense!
Good health is simple. Our health is a response to our Creator and not a response to advertising, waist size, trendy diets, gym memberships, supplements, counting calories, and fads on Facebook.
Alarmingly, sickness and disease that did not exist a few years ago are now becoming an accepted part of everyday reality. We all know someone struggling in a cloud of depression, anxiety, threat of cancer, diabetes, heart conditions, dementia and on and on. Our culture has become gluttons of laziness and overconsumption. We want it easy and we want it fast. Our lifestyle choices are destroying us.
Amazingly, God designed us in such a way, that in most cases, we could be active into old age, our bodies could fight many diseases and unless tragedy strikes, enjoy a long and healthy life! God created us and entrusted us to steward our bodies. He designed us to be alert and engaged. He created us to be active participants, not merely passive spectators!
As leaders, we have two responsibilities in this regard. First, to care for ourselves and second, to care for those around us. I believe that we need to wake up and take control of how we move and what we eat. I am here to equip you for the journey ahead. The Health Project is dedicated to helping you experience and grow in awareness and health by eating reasonably well and being active.
How did we navigate our sailboat through the night, miss the rocks and arrive safely? As we sailed through the dark waters, we aligned a beacon of light that floated in the water with a fixed flashing signal on the shore. We knew we had the correct bearing ONLY when the two lights were directly aligned, one on top of the other. Then we turned our ship straight towards the coast and sailed safely through.