Sunday, June 24, 2012

SFT: Don't put all your free-range eggs in one basket

With all of this recent talk about a balanced diet, I thought I'd take this opportunity to discuss faith.  Not "let's talk about what faith means," but rather "in whom/what should we put our faith."

With promises to cure cancer and heart disease, to cure your fatigue, your pain, and your brittle bones, it can be easy to want to jump on the healthy eating band-wagon.  It makes sense--put bad things in your body and you'll have bad health, put good things in your body and have good health.  And in a perfect world, it would probably be that simple.  But we don't live in a perfect world (we live on Earth, by the way, not in Heaven), so it's really not that simple.  If it were this simple, then people who eat healthfully would have perfect health and live forever and people who smoke, drink, and eat "junk" would be stricken dead immediately.  That's not to say that bad habits don't have long-term effects (they typically do!), but when you put your faith into the idea that being good is all it takes to have good things in life, then you set yourself up for a lot of problems in the future.

Why is believing this a problem?  Imagine someone very "healthy" is given a cancer diagnosis.  This "healthy" person eats mostly or only plant-based foods, exercises plenty, gets lots of rest, doesn't smoke, has the perfect "American dream," and has an all-around good life.  This healthy person put their entire heart and soul into the idea that taking care of his/herself physically would keep him/her healthy and alive for a long, long time.  But perhaps this healthy person forgot to consider some of the many, many other factors that contribute to good health and a good life.  Perhaps s/he had a stressful job, stressful family life, or stressful relationships (or all of the above).  Perhaps this person was so rigid about their healthful ways that they forgot to let go and have fun from time to time.  Maybe s/he had a haunted past that was being deeply, deeply suppressed.  Maybe this person forgot to consider that s/he can only take control of her/his life, and not others surrounding this person.  This person definitely forgot to consider that there are several billion individuals on earth who all need individual health plans, most of whom are going to live to be the same age regardless of diet and lifestyle.  Or maybe this person--in spite of having many blessings--lost touch with God and forgot to give Him thanks each and every day.  Whatever the problem, this person had put their whole faith into a healthy lifestyle as a cure and this idea failed him/her.

The trouble is, when you rely on a single approach--such as healthy eating--as a means to a better life, you are "putting all your eggs in one basket," so to speak.  You are left with nothing upon which to fall back.  If and when you're given that cancer diagnosis, you may be at a loss for what to do and where to turn.  But if you put your faith in God, then when the bad news comes, you can just turn to Him and ask, "What now?"  And he might just tell you to clean up your diet.  However, as long as you're taking matters into your own hands, you might be flat-out ignoring God's will...until, of course, you're ready to listen.

It's always best to give yourself the best odds for your best possible life.  Eat balanced, get lots of rest, exercise, work hard, socialize, and spend time with your loved ones, but never EVER forget to thank God for your blessings and for his counsel!  Try to let God's will be done and not your own.  Sometimes He may just want you to let go and have a candy bar.  Try to enjoy your many blessings each and every day.  After all, if you can't enjoy life, what's it all for?

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