As I write this blog post it’s 2:03 on Monday afternoon. And I’m just starting to feel like myself again. Actually thats normal since preaching twice, and visitation on Sunday means Monday mornings are usually spent looking for the truck that ran me over!
I appreciate Gods grace on Mondays since I’m able to minister with a fog-filled Monday and aching joints. But It’s an important reminder that my body needs to be healthy in order minister effectively.
The interesting thing is physical fitness isn’t something you think about with missions, but it’s ABSOLUTELY vital (especially if you’re in the Caribbean where temperatures are hot year round).
You can work through physical issues for a short time (like on Monday mornings) but not taking care of yourself physically will greatly damage ministry long term.
After learning the hard way that not taking care of yourself leads to exhaustion and sickness, the Lord helped me create the following healthy habits
- Get seven hours of sleep minimum: some people can do with less (and I do occasionally) but it always seems to catch up with me
- Embrace cat naps: its amazing what closing your eyes for ten or fifteen minutes can do
- Eat every two hours if possible: Its proven eating four or five small meals (or snacks) is much healthier than eating three huge ones
- Have healthy food ready to go: Chopped carrots, salad, cereals and nuts must be prepared already so they can be put in a backpack as you run out the door
- DRINK WATER!!!; Honestly the best thing I have learned to do is drink ridiculous amounts of water when I don’t feel well
- Pay attention to your body: There are days when my legs will get sore or my body gets extra tired. I’ve learned to listen to these warning signs and shut it down early instead of trying to push through
- Have a day off: Tuesdays are my days off ministry. Its usually spent going to town and running errands, but it helps having a day when I can get extra rest
- Spend time offline: This is more of a mental fatigue issue, but often getting out of the house and unplugging from everything electronic is incredibly helpful. Walking the dog, or taking a stroll along the beach allowing my mind to wander helps a lot
- Exercise: I actually don’t do this as much as I should, but physical exercise is an absolute MUST if your going to be faithful serving the Lord! Its impossible to climb the hills of Barrouallie with the Gospel if I’m winded after walking up the road!
This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy coke or pizza (I love both!) but habits must be in place that ensure your body is an effective tool for the cause of Christ.