Connecting Beyond the Walls
WELCOME TO THE DAILY DOSE!
Today’s word of hope comes from our own Rev. Brent Greene, Interim Minister of Discipleship.
Need A Check Up?
“Prevention is the best medicine” as the saying goes. Most people dread fasting in preparation for lab and blood work, but patients must follow through with this annoying process in order to get a more accurate assessment of true physical health. Knowledge is power and doctors and patients have real power of prevention when knowing HDL, LDL, HGB, etc. when attempting to understand actual physical health.
How might a picture wheel measure well being? Social workers, therapists, and school counselors use feeling wheels to help children understand and talk about their feelings when trying to describe or explain emotions. Self awareness and understanding one’s emotional health and the emotions of others (also known as EQ) is an important aspect of a person’s well being and can greatly impact interpersonal relationships. Similar to lab work, emotional well being and mental health aren’t always understood or visible to the naked eye. Self examination, reflection, and guidance from mental health professionals are critical resources if one is to maintain good mental health.
So, how does a Christ follower understand his or her spiritual well being? Does it make any sense to fill out a Google Form Survey, calculate the number of years since getting baptized, or calculate the amount of offering or tithe one gives to a church each year?
Dr. M. Robert Mulholland Jr. defines spiritual formation as “the process of being formed in the image of Christ for the sake of others.” He writes, ““Everyone is in a process of spiritual formation. We are being shaped into either the wholeness of the image of Christ or a horribly destructive caricature of that image–destructive not only to ourselves but also to others, for we inflict our brokenness upon them . . . The direction of our spiritual growth infuses all we do with intimations of either Life or Death.”
As followers of Christ, what matters most? Should we focus on physical, mental, social, or emotional health more equally or is one aspect more important than another? The Great Commandment may provide a summary answer of God’s desire for us. The Old and New Testaments declare:
Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, with all our soul, and all of your mind.
And Christ added
And love your neighbor as yourself.
Each morning or evening consider the following questions for a holistic check up.
- Do I recognize that God loves me completely: heart, soul, and mind? Do I fill my heart, soul, and mind with God’s love through the meditation of scripture, spending time in creation, resting with songs of worship, and praying continuously.
- Do I get adequate rest, exercise, and eat healthily for my well being?
- Do I spend time alone in quiet and solitude for reflection as well as checking in with family and friends for community?
- Out of my physical, mental, and spiritual well being, am I showing love for others by word and deed? Am I checking on a neighbor or making donations to my church to help others rather than hoarding supplies and continuing to live comfortably? Am I willing to wear a face mask in this time of pandemic for the sake of others even though I might be embarrassed or uncomfortable?
Out of love for God and acceptance of God’s love provides healthy outcomes for self, others, and the advancement of God’s Kingdom. Even when one aspect of our well being falters or is under attack, God is present always. God is the Great I AM. In the midst of this pandemic season of uncertainty, pain, and sufferening, many people may feel that their entire well being is under attack like never before. Isolation, self-preservation, and survival are pervasive obsessions for many when the message of the Good News emphasizes hope, joy, peace, and love even in the midst of trials and tribulations.
Out of transformative love and Christ-like transformation, may each of us love God and neighbor this day and always. Make time for a daily check up so that God’s transformative power changes each of us and our world. “May God’s will be done. May God’s Kingdom come.”
ALE DE LA TORRE
by Barbara Glasson
We Are People of Courage. We are not people of fear:We are people of courage. We are not people who protect our own safety:
We are people who protect our neighbors’ safety. We are not people of greed:
We are people of generosity.
We are your people God, giving and loving, wherever we are, whatever it costs
For as long as it takes wherever you call us. Amen