Until It Collapsed
Did the title of this article grab your attention? If yes, great! My plan worked. If no, hang in there with me, you still might find the following information useful. As I started reading The Common Rule by Justin Whitmel Earley January 1, 2022, these words stood out to me. “…Life had been working for me—until it collapsed.” Sound familiar? Find yourself in a similar situation? It definitely struck a nerve with me.
Mental, emotional, physical fatigue? Feeling busy but getting nothing done? Hard time focusing on anything past the present moment? Feeling like something is off, but not quite able to put your finger on it? Frequently craving food, but not really hungry? Having a thirst to live, but never having energy to rise above the mundane? Sleeping 10 hours a day yet still feeling exhausted? That’s where I found myself not so long ago, and you know what I’ve learned? My friend, that’s the body’s way of telling you there’s an imbalance or deficiency going on inside you! Those are symptoms of your body going into protective mode. It actually means your body is working just like God created it to—to live. In case you don’t know or might have forgotten (like I did), God designed your system to give warning signals when special care is needed to restore your body to optimum health, and He provided a way for your body to heal—all the way down to the cellular level.
How did He do this? Take a close look around you. Vitamins and minerals found in fresh food give you nutrition when you eat. Trees and plants aid in providing oxygen and healing remedies for a worn-out body. Sunshine soaks your skin with Vitamin D, which is involved in your body’s calcium absorption, immune function, and protecting your bones, muscle, and heart. Then there’s nature and the earth itself. Did you know God uses enriched soil to ground your senses and reconnect you with Him? He’s thought of everything. From grapefruit’s high levels of potassium neutralizing sodium’s negative effect on one’s body, naturally lowering internal systolic pressure* to beets relaxing and widening blood vessels so your cells can efficiently use oxygen throughout your body, reducing stress on the heart,** God’s master plan has always been for you to live. If you look closely, you’ll find He’s made a way for you to receive all that you need.
A few days ago, I came across Emily Harman’s “The Onward Movement Manifesto.” It reads: We live our lives aligned with our values. Stop and read that again. It’s powerful. It’s basically saying, we live our lives according to what’s important to us. Want an illustration? I’m going to focus on health. When we desire to feel better, we make time to exercise, eat nutritious foods, and find ways to positively destress from hectic environments in which we find ourselves. We declutter our minds by focusing on stuff outside of electronics and social media. We surround ourselves with friends who bring out the best in us, and we immerse ourselves in God’s Word, listening to what He has to say about the direction our life is taking. The narrator of The Bible Project puts it this way, “What you hope for shapes what you live for.” Are you starting to get the picture? (Sometimes it takes God repeating a concept several times before I catch on. I think I finally got this one.)
In starting out a new calendar year, I like choosing a word or phrase that’s going to be my topic of focus for the following twelve months. In the past, I’ve used words like: forgiveness, hope, trust, thankfulness. All good words. But this year, I felt like my word needed to spur more action in me to love like God loves. It needed to be direct, more thought out…INTENTIONAL. Yep. That’s my word. Intentional. I will intentionally make my relationships stronger by being present this year. I will intentionally look for the needs in others and do my part to make life a little easier for those God sends my way. This year, I will also intentionally put good food into my body and make health a priority, being an active participant in God’s plan to give me life more abundant (John 10:10), not just hoping it will happen. And I will also intentionally slow down and take time to listen for God’s still small voice as He calls out to me through the chaos of this world. Maybe, then just maybe, the only thing collapsing in my life will be my fear of the unknown. I challenge you, as we start 2022, to be intentional this year, as well. Let’s make this a year of intentional love and peace in our corner of the world, while we intentionally prepare for Christ’s return!
*September 30, 2020: The Hale Groves Team, “Does Grapefruit Lower Blood Pressure?” halegroves.com
** JANUARY 19, 2015: Marjorie S. Miller, https://www.psu.edu/news/research/story/beet-or-not-beet-researchers-test-theories-beet-juice-benefits/