A few months ago I was visiting a friend and she said with a smile “your getting fat!” That didn’t really bother me since I thought she was just kidding, but in the weeks afterwards many of my Vincentian friends began saying the same thing!
To clarify, I’m now what I personally call “island fat” which means I’ve gained five to seven pounds. This is definitely heavier than I was, but not unhealthy, and still much less than I weighed in the States.
At the same time, those added pounds showed I hadn’t been taking proper care of my body recently
- I was eating too much junk food
- Not eating at the right times (would skip meals and eat too much later)
- Had gotten into the habit of drinking too many sugary soft drinks
- And most importantly, got away from visitation
Before the coronavirus shut things down I had a nice schedule to ministry in Barrouallie. A big part of that was a daily walk to pass out tracts, and share the Gospel. This also gave opportunities to get some much needed exercise since there many hills in the community. After things were shut down and my schedule was changed I sadly became lazy when it came to visitation, or passing out tracts.
Thankfully the Lord convicted me about this…but I’ve found those extra pounds makes visitation very difficult 🙂
Yesterday morning was particularly frustrating as I slowly walked up the road to my house with aching legs. The Lord used that pain and anger to remind me of a very important truth.
Spiritual effectiveness is directly connected to our Physical fitness
By this I mean a body that isn’t properly cared for will impact the way you serve Christ. Lately I’ve noticed some other ways that my added pounds have affected ministry in Barrouallie.
- Lack of proper nutrition brings “brain fog” or lack ability to focus
- My energy would crash in the afternoons
- Lack of physical and mental endurance
- My body would become incredibly lethargic after 6:00, not willing to do anything
- And of course lots of work was left undone
At first I tried to overcome those issues by “working harder” but as you can imagine, lack of physical health meant the energy wasn’t there to match my desire.
This realization led not only to some exercise for weight loss, but a renewed understanding that physical energy is needed to do the Lord’s work. And that kind of physical energy comes by taking care of your body.
I’ve begun reclaiming fitness and energy with the following principles
Don’t fill your body with Junk! (self-explanatory)
Don’t let weariness or pain keep you from doing the Lords work; Visitation will be easier one the pounds are off
Schedule strategic cat-naps during the day (10 to 15 minutes)
Embrace core-work (sit-ups, crunches) again
And you can never drink enough water
Though this lessons a painful one (literally!) I’m thankful for the Lord’s reminder you cannot be effective for the Gospel and lazy physically at the same time.