Make 2022 Better than 2021

I know it’s been a minute since I’ve written anything.  The last post I wrote was as the realities of COVID were starting.  We were still months away from hearing the infamous phrase, ‘flatten the curve’. 

In 2022, I want to focus on who we are becoming as individuals.  Circumstances will change, but who we are doesn’t need to negatively impact us.  We can be better. We can do better. 

My faith is a crucial aspect of my life.  In order for us to be better and do better, it starts with our relationship with Jesus.  You need to know that upfront.  If you’re exploring your faith, I’m so glad you’re here.  There might be some aspects of this blog that you find helpful.  So feel free to stick around. 

In a few short 365 days, we run the risk of getting older but not actually maturing or getting better.  I do not want that for myself.  I’m sure you don’t want that for yourself. 

So, I started working through a plan to help me mature in my life.  I want to be the man God created me to be and do the things He created me to do.  The order is crucial.  It’s important that we become the person God created us to be. 

In RE.THINK Church’s podcast, Be the Church, I laid out our Discipleship Plan.  These six questions help us mature in our faith. 

In the next twelve months, I want to explore different aspects of maturing as a follower of Jesus.  

This month let’s talk about physical health.  It may not seem that important or that ‘spiritual’.  For me, my spiritual health and physical health are connected.

Several years ago, I was not the healthiest version of myself.  We had moved to Michigan where I started working in a completely different industry.  I knew I had to lose weight.  I would watch TV shows like the Biggest Loser to get motivated.  I watched while eating bowls of ice cream.  I wanted so badly to lose the weight, but I wasn’t willing to change anything to make sure I started to get healthier. 

Over time, I made a few simple changes.  The first thing I did was to go to the gym and run for 20 minutes.  I say run, but at first, I started walking with a bit of running.  I would walk for 4 minutes and run for the last 60 seconds.  I’d rinse and repeat that for a total of 20 minutes.  Eventually, I was able to run the full 20 minutes and more.  The first night I decided to make this pattern, God spoke to me in a way I’ll never forget. 

So there I was, almost 300 pounds.  I couldn’t even run for the full 20 minutes. I was on the treadmill walking and wanting to stop because I wasn’t like ‘those guys’.  You know them.  The professionals at the gym.  The guys who stay at the gym for hours at a time, lift,  and essentially take the gym over.  In the quiet, God spoke to me and told me, “Marc, I have plans for you, for your ministry, and for your family.  It would be a shame if you couldn’t achieve those plans because of your physical health.  What a shame it would be if you couldn’t enjoy the last years of ministry because you had a heart attack. Wouldn’t it be a shame if you didn’t get to see your grandkids one day”? 

That little conversation with God on the treadmill changed me.  Some of us are there.  You want to quit.  You don’t see the purpose of trying to become healthy or maybe you have tried to get healthy and have not succeeded.  You need to hear that God has plans for you.  Get healthy so you can partner with God and accomplish those plans He has for you. 

There are also people who have made their physical health an idol.  They spend more time at the gym working out than they do with Jesus.  Don’t worship your body.  Eat a carb, read scripture and pray.   

I want to give you some practical possible next steps that might work for you. They have been helpful for my health journey.

  • Commit to working out three times a week.  I am part of a class that works out three days a week and I lift two other days.  Your focus should be on staying consistent in this part.  Here is a simple no equipment workout I do at least 3 times a month: 

Set a timer for 20 minutes.  This is an AMRAP (As Many Rounds as Possible)

    -Run 1/4 of a mile

    -25 pushups

    -25 sit-ups

    -25 Body Weight Squats  (regular squat with no additional weight)

  • Dial in your nutrition.  When you read through scripture, you can easily see that God does care about what we eat. Look through the dietary laws that God tediously describes in the Hebrew Scriptures.  You could also point to Daniel chapter 1. Pay attention to what you eat, how much you eat, and how often you eat. 
  • While you’re working out, you may need something to listen to.  Check out the 4:8 Men podcast with Christian Huff. 

Let’s not just get older this year, let’s get better!

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