Mike has done a fantastic job of creating a blog that deals with many aspects of a technical role at a modern church, so we’re going to diverge from the tech side of what we get to do for a moment. His goal for ChurchTechArts is to be wholistic in nature and I would like to help further his vision. Some of us are full-time at a mega church. Others volunteer a few hours each month at a small church. Most of us are somewhere in between. Even though we all come from a varying degree of backgrounds, there are many things we can agree on. We can all agree that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior. Most of us can agree that bacon makes everything better. Can we also all agree that being healthy is important? I submit that we cannot effectively serve God if we are not physically, mentally, and spiritually fit.
You might be thinking, “But Isaiah, I eat my vegetables and I get at least seven hours of sleep each night.” (Seriously though, who can really say that?). There’s so much more we can be doing to take better care of ourselves!
Round is a Shape, Right?
Each November, Open Enrollment for benefits comes around and I am reminded how much I hate paying for medical coverage. I’m not saying I want it to be free for everybody, but it’s still a pain to deal with and it isn’t cheap. For the first time ever, I’ve opened a life insurance policy for myself and my family. I’m 31 years old, married with an eight-year-old daughter and would hate it if, God forbid, I was suddenly taken from them. I mean, I’m only 31. Who dies at 31? Lots of people do, unfortunately. It was an eye-opening experience to really be thinking about my own mortality and how badly I really don’t want to leave my family behind because I chose to eat poorly and not exercise.
About six months ago, my wife asked me to go to a CrossFit Foundations Class. I figured I’d humor her and go just to say I went. I really didn’t want to be there. I had always thought people who did CrossFit had a little too much of the Kool-Aid, you know? Who else has seen the CrossFit fail videos on YouTube? Well, I went and it wasn’t that bad. Just kidding. It was awful! I realized how out of shape I was. All we did in the Foundation Class was go over stretches and several of the movements using a PVC pipe in place of a barbell. I could barely walk later that day! I couldn’t believe it. From that moment on, I knew I needed to take better care of my body.
My wife is also a big proponent of having a healthy gut and tracking your macronutrients. She’s way smarter than I am when it comes to knowing what to eat vs what to stay away from. She researches all this stuff and even makes her own bone broth and kombucha. Our kitchen often looks like a science lab and she’s the wild-eyed scientist. You know what’s crazy? It works! Since she uses ingredients that aren’t processed but rather are full of nutrients, I feel better and healthier. I have more energy and don’t get sick as often. Can’t complain about that!
Upping Our (mind) Game
I’m not talking about mental health here because that’s a very different, very serious subject. No, I’m talking about keeping your mind sharp so you can be your best for God.
We’re good at what we do. I don’t believe I’m being arrogant or prideful with that statement. Chances are, we wouldn’t do what we do if we weren’t good at it. I’d be willing to bet that most of us want to be better at what we do. How do we improve our game? We learn and we seek knowledge. We ask advice. We read. We investigate. We find a mentor. We attend a class. You get the idea.
As long as we’re on the topic of keeping our minds sharp, this is a great time to bring up getting enough rest each night. Our brains just don’t seem to work as well on four hours of sleep each night as they do when we get seven or more hours. I turn into such a jerk when I average 5-ish hours of sleep for more than a few nights. Also, vacations. Take them. Or at least make it a staycation. Either way, your mental state will be much better.
Who else worked 60+ hours the week leading up to Christmas? I am ashamed to admit that I pulled two over-nighters that week to get our new set done and installed. I, like most of you, am a workaholic and will keep working until the job is done. Nobody asked me to stay and push myself to the point of exhaustion. Don’t be like me! I was physically and mentally fried to a crisp.
Being Spiritually Healthy
Given that we do what we do at a church, it would make sense for us to read our bible and pray regularly, right? I’ll be honest, that is a discipline that I am often lacking in my own life. Reading my bible has always been a struggle for me. I’m not sure if you can relate or not. I must keep my prayers short otherwise my mind starts to wander and all of a sudden I’m thinking about how awesome Rogue One was instead of actually talking to God.
Spiritual health isn’t just about reading your bible and praying. Nope. It’s also about being in community with fellow believers who can help keep you in check. People who you can be yourself with and who have been given the authority to speak into your life when you’re being a jackass to your wife (speaking from experience here). My wife and I are in a community group with four other couples and I need them to be able to call me out on my crap when I’m out of line. They can do that because I’ve given them the authority to. Knowing that there are people who care enough about me to speak truth into my life helps to keep me humble and ultimately, makes me a better leader.
Live a Little
I’ll also add this: live a little. Go out with friends. Eat a steak. Enjoy a milkshake. Feel free to have a drink (if you’re over 21). Just do it all in moderation and don’t punish yourself if you aren’t perfect in any of these areas or mess up on a goal. Get to know your body and give it what it needs and cut out what you can live without. God has given us only one life to live and we should respect ourselves enough to take care of our bodies.
I’ve rambled on long enough. Let’s recap really quick, shall we?
* Eat well and make healthy choices
* Be active
* Actually take a vacation
* Get enough sleep each night
* Keep asking questions
* Push yourself to learn more
* Read your bible
* Talk to God
* Get into a community group
For a while now I’ve heard Haley telling me how much misinformation is out there when it comes to developing a healthy diet. I’m so glad she’s writing about her journey to eat better and live healthier. Take a moment and check it out! https://highfatfranco.wordpress.com/