The Land of New Beginnings
Published: Tuesday, May 29, 2012
One astute observer said, "Christianity is the land of new beginnings." How very true this is. Each new day holds out a promise of new beginnings to us, if we will avail ourselves of the opportunities that are before us.
The trouble is that we sometimes get stuck in the routines and ruts of our lives instead of being proactive about starting over.
Each new day gives us the opportunity to make a choice to pursue healthy new beginnings, to start over again, to refresh our perspective, to repent if necessary, and to experience newness of life.
There is an acronym that could be helpful to everyone who wants to do better. It is NEWSTART:
N=Nutrition. Moderation is a good rule of thumb to use here; don't consume too much of anything, including sugar, caffeine, fatty foods, red meats, and any substance that could be harmful. Avoid anything that could be harmful in any way. The Bible has much to say about nutrition and what we should and shouldn't eat. We would be very wise to heed its advice in these areas as in all others.
E=Exercise. Paul gave this advice to young Timothy: "Physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things" (1 Timothy 4:8, NIV). Exercise is extremely valuable in helping us maintain our health. As Dr. Phil Goldfedder points out, it improves our mood, stimulates brain chemicals, helps to prevent depression, boosts self-confidence and self-esteem, combats chronic diseases, controls hypertension, reduces cholesterol, lowers plaque buildup in our arteries, reduces osteoporosis, combats certain kinds of cancer, helps to manage our weight, boosts our energy levels, delivers oxygen and nutrients to our tissues, regulates our cardiovascular system, promotes better sleep, reduces boredom, tones the muscles, extends our life, and blesses our spiritual life, as well. Amen, Dr. Phil! Why, then, do we avoid it? Walking, swimming, biking, and going to the gym are all ways in which we can have a new beginning in this area of our lives.
W=Water. We must be well-hydrated at all times in order to feel well. One physician, Dr. Batmanghelidj, has written a book called The Water Cure in which he points out that water can help to cure many diseases. He mentions that one of the first things that happens to a patient in a hospital is to receive an intravenous saline solution to be sure that the patient is not dehydrated. Water is God's gift to us, and what a healthy gift it is!
S=Sunshine. In spite of the many warnings against too much sunshine being harmful to our skin, I believe that moderate exposure to sunshine is a good thing, particularly with regard to vitamin D, which sunshine supplies to us. It helps to brighten our mood and bring color to our face, which will help our appearance as long as it does not give us a sunburn.
T=Temperance. Temperance (moderation) is a definite virtue, and it is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit. (See Galatians 5:23.) This is self-control at its best, and each one of us has a measure of it. However, we need to so discipline our lives that we will learn to control what we eat, drink, think, and do. The Bible says, "He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls" (Proverbs 25:28). I believe this would apply to our bodies as well.
A=Air. We need to be sure to get plenty of fresh air as often as possible. Walking and riding a bike in the countryside are good ways to ensure that our lungs will be filled with fresh air.
R=Rest. We need to be sure to get plenty of rest so our bodies can recharge themselves. Many people are sleep-deprived. I think Ben Franklin was right when he said, "Early to sleep and early to rise make a man healthy, wealthy, and wise." God gives sleep to His beloved, but we need to get to bed early so that His gift of sleep will come to us.
T=Trust. Without trust, we can become very fearful and anxious. Fear and anxiety work against our health in so many ways. We need to trust the Lord and other people, as well. The Bible says, "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths" (Proverbs 3:5-6). You must also learn to trust yourself to make the right decisions.
The Lord makes all things new in our lives, but He wants us to cooperate with Him in the process. Let today become a new beginning for you. I think you will find it exciting and beneficial to do so.
A NEWSTART awaits you in the land of new beginnings.