The most common New Year’s resolution for most people is improved health. We promise to seek better physical health by losing weight,eating a healthier diet, and exercising more. We commit to having enhanced mental and emotional health through self-expression, self-improvement, and by paying more attention to important relationships. Finally, we strive for spiritual health through prayer, meditation, and doing more for others.
The physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual dimensions of our health are connected. Good health means, above all, having the ability to resist illness and injury. It also means having the capacity to deal with a variety of viruses, stresses, and challenges while still being able to pursue our work, hopes and dreams. Disease and disappointment happen. Grief, injury,and anxiety are part of life. Good health can be measured by how we’re able to cope with these and keep moving forward in our lives.
Good spiritual health includes being well grounded: open to the wisdom of others and the touch of the Spirit without losing our own identity. Spiritual health means having a strong inner immune system – less susceptible to the pressures of others who claim to have all the answers, to those who claim to know the mind of God impeccably, or to those who threaten divine judgment on those who disagree with them. People with good spiritual health are like an immune system for their faith communities as well.
The real value of good health is found in what it means to us and to those we love. This value is realized in our ability to accomplish our portion of God’s dream—transforming the world into the nature of Shalom (peace,wholeness, and connection with others). The more people who are spiritually healthy, the more powerfully and effectively this work can be done and the better life will be for all of us Spiritual health requires faith: the ability to trust in God through all the experiences of our lives while at the same time trusting that we are vitally important to God’s work in the world. Let us strive for wellness of body, mind, and spirit to do the work we have before us. And let’s remember that, ultimately, good health lies in our oneness with God and each other.
Article was submitted by Pastor Jack Price. Pastor Jack serves as Chaplain of The Philadelphia Protestant Home