Nik Aamlid, Director of Development, SD Fellowship of Christian Athletes
The old adage, “you are what you eat” was often used by my siblings to let me know that my bacon obsession was a little out of hand, and that I was starting to resemble, well … a pig! I quickly realized that there was more truth to it than I wanted to admit … not in a literal sense, but in the association between healthy weight and healthy food. Well, what if we applied that same “you are what you consume” logic to our spiritual lives? If we feed our spirit well, we will be less stressed, more energized, and more productive.
I would argue that a healthy spirit makes more of an impact on our lives and how we live than physical health because out of a healthy spirit will grow a healthier life. This is very counter-intuitive for our culture. We are constantly fed lines about the importance of physical appearance and occupational success. Our world tells us that the most successful people are the ones who are the most attractive, can run the fastest, make the most money, or own the most stuff. So, we naturally put all of our energy and resources into the pursuit of things that will give us the appearance of “having it all together”. However, what good is all of that if our inner spirit is suffering?
Author and speaker, Dan Webster talks about this issue in terms of a sailboat. Above the waterline, the sails can look magnificent, but if below the waterline, the rudder is broken, your ship is not going to sail. Your boat may look beautiful, but it will never accomplish its intended purpose.
We are much the same way. We can be fit, healthy and successful by the worlds standards, but if our soul is not at peace, we cannot accomplish what we were put on this earth to do.
So, what do we do? We have to find “me” time! I block off two hours on my calendar every morning for personal time. This is the time to get your exercise in, but also to give yourself some quiet time. It’s different for everyone. For me, it’s my time to read, pray and just be still. Where I thought getting up earlier to have some time to myself would exhaust me, I have actually been more energized than ever. It’s in the quiet that we identify our true purpose … not what the world wants us to do, but what we are truly called to do. For me, joy and healthy living come in identifying my purpose and living it out! What we have to pour out to the world often depends on what we are pouring into ourselves. That’s why it’s so important to take the necessary time to feed our souls well.
One of my favorite John Wooden quotes is, “don’t let making a living prevent you from making a life.” Let’s take time every day to do something that gives us life!