Monday, December 02, 2013
I have asked myself this question many times and it came back to my mind when I saw this week's issue of the Parade magazine which has a picture of Rick Warren, the famous pastor and author of the book "The purpose-driven life" on it. Inside is the story of Rick Warren's latest project, a transformation of the church he pastors to a healthy life-style.
His new book, "The Daniel Plan - 40 Days to a healthier Life" is coming out this Tuesday and may put a different spin on the diet and exercise formula for success that has been preached for so long.
It makes sense that any project, incl. moving towards healthier living, can be made easier in a supportive community, which could be a church or spiritual group or any other group.
My question, however, goes a little beyond that.
I am curious whether a spiritual life, prayer, meditation, other spiritual disciplines are helpful for individuals, even apart from the community aspect in living a healthy life style, being more active and eating better.
If motivation is considered an important aspect for maintaining a healthy life style then I can see how our spiritual lives could play an important role.
For instance the belief in a God that loves us and wants us to love ourselves and those around us could be encouraging us to take better care of our own health and that of our family members. Faith could give us hope that there is an answer and a purpose to what we are doing even in the absence of (short-term) progress.
On the other hand spiritual communities can also be role models, for better or for worse. If the church potluck only has unhealthy foods then we are more likely to eat those than we may be at home because of social pressure.
What is your experience?