Yesterday I felt as though I’d been hit by a semi-truck. Is jetlag lingering longer than usual, I wondered? Nah, it couldn’t be. I’m sleeping well at night now, so there’s no obvious reason for feeling so wrung out. What’s going on? I continued my mental scour, searching for a reason to explain my lethargy. And then it hit me: Consider the past six weeks and their accumulative effect on the body.
When we go on extended missions trips, we sleep in a dozen or more different beds. We rise early to attend staff prayer meetings or to catch trains to the next destination. We fall into bed late because of crazy-busy schedules. Every hour between rising and sleeping is spent trying to communicate with people who speak a different language or ensuring that all is well with our programs and the people involved.
Mealtimes are sketchy at best when we travel by train or bus. We also routinely eat different foods than we’re accustomed to. Personally, I don’t eat a lot of wheat products because my body can’t digest them properly. Potatoes are a no-no, too, as are tomatoes. All of these are staples in Eastern Europe, so I either try to avoid them or look for alternatives. When that’s not possible, I eat knowing that I’ll take a hit eventually.
Regular exercise routines are practically non-existent due to time restraints and cultural sensitivities. Granted, we’re constantly walking stairs, but that’s not the same as a good ol’ workout in the gym.
Lack of proper rest, diet, and exercise for an extended period have left me feeling stiff and achy this week, and so I’m doing something about it. I’m ensuring a good sleep at night, eliminating foods that cause me discomfort, and returning to the gym for my early morning exercises. I know these activities will benefit my body and boost my energy levels.
This morning I read 1 Corinthians 6:13-20—“(Our bodies) were made for the Lord, and the Lord cares about our bodies…Honor God with your body.” These verses challenged me to treat my body with respect. After all, if God cares about my physical health, I should, too.
Thankfully our overseas travels last only a few weeks at a time. Even though it’s difficult, I must do my best to care for myself there. When I’m home, I have more control and consistency. It’s my “revamp” time to get my body back on track in an attempt to safeguard my health.
How about you? What challenges do you face in regards to honoring your body? Do you have a regular exercise routine? Special dietary needs? We’d love to hear how you stay healthy.