As a full time nurse working in a busy hospital, it’s easy for life to begin to become one giant blur—especially when it comes to work. I care for many patients with different illnesses and situations, and yet so often I find myself looking at my patients or reviewing their charts and thinking how much could be avoided by simply following God’s plan in regards to health and life. I heard it quoted once that at least 75% of patients who end up in the hospital system today could have avoided their visits and the countless dollars spent if they had just followed the eight laws of health.
Although I’m sure most of us are very familiar with the traditional NEW START acronym and its principles (think nutrition, exercise, water, sunshine, temperance, air, rest and trust in God), I wanted to look at things from a different perspective using the CREATION acronym from Creation Health—same principles from a fresh vantage point.C – Choice. It’s interesting when you pause to consider how the choices you make alter everything about your life. Some choices may seem minor or of little consequence in the grand scheme of things, yet we are told in Scripture that “whatever a man sows, that he will also reap” and that “he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life” Galatians 6:7, 8. When we look at life from this perspective, we see that our choices matter and eventually will determine our destiny.
R – Rest. Having worked night-shift at the hospital for months, it has become clearer to me than ever how important getting adequate rest is for our bodies. While it may seem like we can push our bodies to the edge, especially when we are young and healthy, it takes a greater toll than we might realize. I’ve found this to be true for me personally as I’ve just transitioned to day-shift and am finally starting to catch up on my sleep deficit. Not only is daily rest important, but God also knew what He was doing when He said, “remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy” Exodus 20:8. Prioritizing spending time with Him on Sabbath as well as physical rest during the week is crucial to living a healthy life.
E – Environment. Although many things in our environment are beyond our personal control, there are many things we can alter in order to put ourselves in the best position for the most favorable outcome and best spiritual growth. From those we choose as our closest friends to the atmosphere we create in our lives and homes, each thing makes a difference in how we view the world as well as our relationship with God. Scripture tells us, “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord” 2 Corinthians 3:18. Truly, what we behold changes us.
A – Activity. A lot of people shy away from the term exercise because of the self-discipline required to actually be faithful in any kind of exercise program. On the other hand, some people love to exercise and make it a priority. Whatever the case may be, physical activity is an important part of a healthy life. “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might” Ecclesiastes 9:10. Even though it can be difficult to fit in around a busy work schedule sometimes, I have personally been seeking to make it more of a priority in my life.
T – Trust. Probably all of us have experienced the heartache and pain of our trust being broken by people in our lives. However, the most beautiful thing is that God never breaks trust with us no matter how far away we may find ourselves. God provides a constant in our lives and we can commit our lives to Him and know that He will never let us down. “In all their affliction He was afflicted, and the Angel of His Presence saved them; In His love and in His pity He redeemed them; and He bore them and carried them all the days of old” Isaiah 63:9.
I – Interpersonal Relationships. God created us to be relational beings from the beginning of creation. From sanctioning marriage to establishing what our human-divine connection should look like, God is all about relationships. “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. for if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up” Ecclesiastes 4:9, 10.
O – Outlook. Undoubtedly we meet some people who have a sour attitude about life and others who are full of positivity. Just this last week I had the privilege to take care of patients with both perspectives on life and it is amazing how draining negativity can be while positivity is so energizing. Our mind has a strong influence on our body and in turn our health, so it is important that we maintain positive attitudes in life. The Bible addresses this very impact of our minds saying “for as he thinks in his heart, so is he” Proverbs 23:7.
N – Nutrition. Although last in this acronym, having the right nutritious fuel to feed our bodies is just as imperative as all the rest. On a whole, our society has dramatically shifted in what kind of food we eat and in turn, we have seen a rise of obesity and other health problems — many of which stem from unhealthful eating. Next time you fill your plate with food, take a look and make sure you are feeding yourself with the best fuel for your body system! “Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” 1 Corinthians 10:31.
In summary, God has given us many guidelines for optimal health and if we seek to follow His ideal, we help to fortify ourselves and cultivate a healthy body and spirit. We may not be able to avoid all illness or disease because we live in a sinful world, but the most important thing is to live in harmony with God’s plan so that we are ready to live in a perfect world when He comes again.
General Vice President
Generation. Youth. Christ.