"Grant to us that we may sit ...." (Mark 10:37). The request of James and John was foolish. We will serve the Lord in the world to come, not sit around doing nothing (Rev. 22:3).
Today we do practically everything seated, whether in the office or at church. We live in a "Please be seated" age. Indeed, as a society we desperately need to become active. Take heart disease and diabetes. The best prevention is to eat a healthy diet and go on a daily walk. Nothing is as convenient, relaxing, and enjoyable. This is the natural way to good health. Our bodies are meant to move, and walking is the most accessible movement for most of us. As far back as 1961, JFK said:
Our growing softness, our increasing lack of physical fitness, is a menace to our society. We do not want in the United States a nation of spectators. We want a nation of participants in the vigorous life. This is not a matter that be settled, of course, from Washington. It is really a matter which starts with each individual family.
Today, more than a third of children in the U.S. are overweight or obese. My own state of Virginia has the 32nd highest rate of obesity in the nation, with 62 percent of adults overweight or obese. We have this mentality that says, "Eat food when it's available, and rest when you don't have to work." The fact that we have so much food available at our fingertips and that it comes in such large proportions doesn't help.
The solution is simple: start moving, running, and playing -- and eating well too. The CDC estimates that 75 percent of healthcare dollars are spent on chronic diseases that are preventable. In addition, the mental health benefits of being outdoors in nature may even exceed the physical benefits. If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know that I became interested in health and exercise only after my wife died of cancer. Regular exercise was one of the ways I coped with her passing. Since then it has become a regular way of life.
When was the last time you took a trip into nature? Nearly everyone who develops the habit of walking stays with it over the long term. They don't think in terms of having to go out and walk but getting to.
My invitation to you is this: Please don't wait for a crisis in your life before beginning to take care of the temple God has given you. The benefits of regular exercise are undeniable. I have one request of you: get off the couch, go outside, and move. Together, let's nurture a pandemic of exercise.