|By Madhero88 (self-made, sources ) [CC BY-SA 3.0 |
(https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
I have low blood pressure. "Freakishly low," as my cardiologist noted. Most of the time, this is not a problem; my high energy and healthy lifestyle is not impacted. However, every once in a while, it dips a tad *too* low, and I end up with dizzy spells. These are minor, and can are easily addressed by a variety of means - some posture stances, more salt, more water, &c. Sometimes, I opt for an electrolyte replenishment tab. Dissolved in water, they immediately increase my sodium and potassium levels, and thus my blood pressure.
So this week my cardiologist made a suggestion: rather than do this as a reactive measure, why not use them proactively? Take one every morning and see if the number of dizzy spells decreases overall.
My response: "Why didn't I think of that?"
It seems quite simple, and helpful, and can only be of long-term benefit. What my body needs will already be in my system; if my body doesn't need it all then it will flush it out. Easy!
I reflected how the very nature of being proactive, rather than reactive, is integral not only to physical health but also to spiritual health. When we come together to worship God, and connect with community, and find ways to serve, we are being proactive. We are choosing to give our spiritual selves the nourishment it needs in the good times, so that if/when the challenging times hit, we are in a healthier position to address that reality.
I have often noted that in times of trouble, people unfamiliar with church may come to the building expecting an instant answer or immediate 'fix'. While it is wonderful to see them turning to God and faith community, it is at times unlikely that the high and unrealistic expectations can be met in such a short timeline. It is a reaction to a circumstance already underway; like an electrolyte tab for an already dropping BP.
For those who are already engaged - who regularly communicate with God's word through prayer and devotion, who are known and supported within a faith community, who routinely participate in worship - for those, troubled times are just as likely to hit. However, because of the engagement, their faith helps them to mitigate the challenges of this life. It is a proactive preparation for whatever may come: like preventing a too-low BP by taking a daily electrolyte booster.
Obviously being part of a worshiping community is more than merely as a preventative measure against life's difficulties. However, one of the benefits of that community is the proactive maintenance of a faith that sustains us in good times and in bad. But it is this maintenance that is so important to our health, it is so simple, and so beneficial for the long term, and we can be supported by as much as we need. Along with the other benefits of being part of the family of God, we will be extra supported by the practice of making faith nurture part of our daily reality. Our faith will help us most when it is proactive, not reactive.