A Chicago Sun-Times article a few years ago, “A new approach to getting fit: prayer” (Sandy Thorn Clark, 2/29/12) piqued my interest. The article described the evangelistic efforts of author and exercise physiologist, Jimmy Pena, to encourage people in the pews to “take care of the body that carries the soul.” Pena’s “Prayfit” program challenges Christians to “exercise” their faith, saying, “We are bold to declare faith can move a mountain, and yet doubt it can help us move a muscle.” Pena claims that living a healthy lifestyle is a means for praising God and that the “sacrifice” required in living healthy will be honored by God.
Pena recognizes a serious problem and is doing something about it. His message may be too focused on the "pain and suffering" involved in changing lifestyle behaviors, but he’s addressing an issue that few in the clergy are tackling. The benefits of living a healthy lifestyle offer hope and rewards, here-and-now, on our earthly journey. It should be a life-giving message preached in every place of worship. Our spiritual health, like our physical health, benefits from “preventive” care. I say, avoid the pain and suffering - live healthy!
M. J. White is the creator of “LEAN Wellness”, which transforms work environments with a radically different bottom-up approach that inspires continuous improvement in health and wellbeing. To learn more, visit the website at: www.wellstreet.us or email M. J. directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org.