May Letter

In Sunday’s paper I was reading an article about how short walks, even as short as two minutes can add up to big health benefits. Really? I had always thought that in order to be healthy you had to commit to long, sustained, sweat producing exercise on a daily basis….something that post accident seems impossible for me to achieve and has left me rather discouraged. But, it turns out that good health is actually within my reach! The writer of Sunday’s article, Gretchen Reynolds (Peninsula Daily News, Sunday, April 22) points to a study that found that “those who moved more often, especially if they managed about an hour in total of physical activity over the course of the day, cut their mortality risk in half. And it did not matter how they accumulated those minutes.” I had thought the only exercise that counts is one full hour of heart pounding exertion, but instead the truth is: “the little things that people do every day, like walking from their cars to the office or climbing a flight of stairs, can and do add up and affect the risk for disease and death.” This is all super good news to me! It inspired me so much I immediately got up and went for a walk! This I can do! Yippee!

As I walked I thought about how much our physical health is like our spiritual health. We get discouraged that we can’t become “super” Christians. As a pastor I hear people express discouragement that being a really “spiritual” person is out of their reach. That it takes some kind of super spiritual strength or discipline to become a really strong Christian. But, it turns out like getting our bodies in shape it depends on what we’re doing every day. If we managed about an hour in total every day of spiritual activity it would make a huge difference! Even short spurts of prayer, bible reading, singing along with a worship song on a CD all can add up to big spiritual health benefits. The key just like with our bodies is that we do it daily. We have every reason to believe that we can be in the best spiritual shape of our lives simply by deciding to turn to Christ throughout our day!
I like the concept of growing in spiritual health simply by turning to Jesus at regular, even short intervals during the day. It’s something we all can fine tune to our own schedules. It’s doable and potentially life changing. See, every time we turn to Christ in prayer, song, scripture reading, or meditation we will find that the Spirit meets us. And it’s the Spirit who breathes life in our turning to Christ. It’s the Spirit who draws us close to God, who shares Christ’s mind, wisdom and heart of compassion with us. It’s the Spirit who shapes us more and more into the very image of Christ. So, not only do we become spiritually fit as we turn to Christ throughout our day we become literally transformed people in Christ! Pretty exciting stuff! We truly can be new people in Christ! Spiritually stronger, healthier and more vibrant! Let’s just do it! Joyfully building spiritual muscles alongside you,