Health Habits are an Act of Discipleship


Below are some headlines from a well-known news website.

"Is the Economy Making You Fat?"

"Blow Your Diet? Blame Your Brain."

"Too Little Sleep May Raise Blood-Pressure"

All of these headlines make an excuse for living an unhealthy life. That implies that an unhealthy life is not something natural, but instead something that is brought upon by other forces. It is time to recognize that perhaps the busier, more convenient, more "advanced" lifestyle our society proposes is not in fact the right way to live. If a life-style is compromising the very breath that gives us life, I think it is time to re-evaluate.

I've got a headline for you. "The Body is a Temple." Let's evaluate this discipleship metaphor.

Would you board up the doors of a temple or church like fat and plaque from poor eating habits dam up the arteries of your heart? What if your active temple or church hung a sign on the door that said, “No services today, we’re too busy and too tired.”? Why is it okay to hang out those excuses when you should be exercising your body? No temple or church could withstand constant use without downtime for maintenance and care. Why do you expect your body to work well without sleep and re-creation?

These items only have to do with our physical and mental health, but we also have to consider our spiritual health. Let’s take a stand! You are not called to live life as a consumer. You are called to live life as a disciple and as a disciple we must have discipline. 

Discipline: (n.) activity, exercise, or a regimen that develops or improves a skill; training

So, I’ve dug into my files and come up with a discipline from Fr. Al McBride for “Temple Maintenance”. Fr. McBride is a Norbertine at St. Norbert’s Abbey in De Pere, WI.

Everyday do 6 things:

Something Good for Others (my family members rate their day each night and they cannot claim a top rating of 5 without sharing what they did to help someone else!)

Something Good for Yourself

Something that you don’t want to do, but needs to be done

Physical Exercise

Mental Exercise (ie: reading, writing)

An original prayer everyday by naming your blessings (lots will be constant, but everyday something will be new or original).

What maintenance have you done on your temple today?