Healthy Food…For Your Soul
BREAKING NEWS Y’ALL! Emerging research shows that people with a sense of meaning in life can be predicted to have better physical health outcomes! WHAT?! Greater meaning has apparently been associated with a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease,1 reduced risk of heart attack among individuals with coronary heart disease, reduced risk of stroke,2 and increased longevity.3 Those that call me friend have undoubtedly given me a hard time once or twice for my finatical health habits–CrossFit at 5am, food prepping my raw bell peppers over the weekend for daily lunches, and, of course, my gluten free diet. Good heavens…my brother-in-law LOVES to raz me about that one! It’s true. I like to live a healthy lifestyle to take care of the body in which my soul is housed. And, I’ve always loved sharing my passion for health and fitness with others because I want people to experience how good it feels to be healthy! But this latest research–the news that people with a sense of meaning in life could live longer, healthier lives–is something that calls for preaching! Woohoo! I can feel the Holy Spirit comin’ on y’all! Can I get an amen?! (Throws hands up in the air…)
Okay, I’m not really going to preach, but I am going to tell you why knowing my purpose in this world has brought me more joy than anything else in my life–yes, even more joy than coffee! (Yes, my friends, I just typed that out loud.) And, talking about why we’re all here doing this thing called life is something I want people to know even MORE than how to train for a marathon or how to food prep for a healthy week! You see, it’s the SOUL INSIDE the house that matters more than the house itself. Eventually, my body will get old (I’m already snap-crackle-and-popping!), and at some point it will even turn to dust. But my soul…it’s forever. But why? Why do I have a soul that will live forever? Why do I have a temporary body in this world to house this human soul? The answer is actually simpler than you think.
We have a God who created this world with His perfect plan in mind. He created the first human body and soul, and He will create the last one too. The Bible tells us that He WAS, He IS, and He IS TO COME. Genesis 1:1 says “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth;” and, then John tells us in the first few words of his written gospel that Jesus was there with His Father…from the beginning. (Oh! How I love tying Old Testament to New and looking at God’s story as one big love letter to us!) After the creation of the world, the Bible lays out details of how God created the first human beings by breathing His very own breath into that first body housing man’s soul; and, he then describes His love for them and His sheer enjoyment of spending time with them! He treasured them as His most precious creation! All He asked was that they love Him back and enjoy His presence with them.
Well dang. Most of you know how THAT turned out. Stupid satan. I hate him. I really do, y’all. He’s such a butt. He tried to ruin Adam and Eve’s lives back then as much as he tries to ruin OUR lives now! Grrrr. God tells us through His prophet Isaiah “But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear” (Isaiah 59:2). Ummm. Nothing about my soul being separated from God forever seems HEALTHY to me! So what’s the prescription, doc?! Vitamin B-12? More brussel sprouts?! Well, you’ll be happy to hear that brussel sprouts have absolutely zero bearing on your salvation from eternal death. You. Are. Welcome. It’s actually SO much easier than eating stinky green vegetables! You see, God loved those first humans, our current mankind, and our future generations so much that He ALREADY had a plan in place for when we messed up! (Did you catch that…He knew we were going to mess up. He’s crafty like that.) From the beginning, God set his perfect plan in motion to save us from our own sin so that we could love Him back and enjoy his presence forever! Romans 5:8 gloriously states, “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly” (NIV Life Application Study Bible). When WE couldn’t save ourselves from the sin…and the muck…and the filth…that we were living in, God sent His one and only Son Jesus to die in our place. And all He asks of us–to believe that He did it and love Him back with the lives that we live here in this world. THAT. That is the meaning of life–to be loved by God, and to love God back with our lives.
When someone realizes this and accepts the gift of salvation, scripture tells us that God and the angels throw a party! No, I’m serious! Look it up! It’s in the book of Luke! There’s a total rager every time ONE soul repents and accepts God’s amazing gift! Friends, living a healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet and daily exercise is important. (I’m not going to lie–I feel like I need to preach that too…another time, maybe? Smiles awkwardly…) But, the REAL meaning of life is so much more than taking care of the aging physical body that will eventually turn to dust…it’s nourishing the eternal soul within and coming to the realization that every gift (yes, even the gift of salvation) has been given to you for the PURPOSE of glorifying HIM, enjoying HIS presence, and loving HIM back. When we do this, the Bible tells us that WE are blessed beyond measure as WE are filled with the fruits of HIS Spirit–“love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Galations 5:22) Okay, go back and read that list of fruits one more time. Y’ALL! I mean, let’s be real. In today’s straight up looney-tune crazy world, that is some fruit we could all agree sounds delectable! Today, my prayer is that every reader who stumbles upon this message will hear God’s voice in ways they can understand as He calls them to fill their Spiritual diet with the fruit that leads their souls to a life in pursuit of the greatest meaning for which one could hope–to love their Creator and to be loved by Him.
1 Boyle PA, Buchman AS, Barnes LL, Bennett DA. Effect of a purpose in life on risk of incident Alzheimer’s disease and mild cognitive impairment in community-dwelling older persons. Archives of General Psychiatry. 2010;67:304–310.
2 Kim E, Sun J, Park N, Kubzansky L, Peterson C. Purpose in life and reduced risk of myocardial infarction among older US adults with coronary heart disease: A two-year follow-up. Journal of Behavioral Medicine. (2):124–133.
3 Boyle PA, Barnes LL, Buchman AS, Bennett DA. Purpose in life is associated with mortality among community-dwelling older persons. Psychosomatic Medicine. 2009;71:574–579.