I’ve already heard from some of my local friends that the gyms are packed with folks determined (for now) to make 2019 a healthier and more fit year. I also have a gym membership and I confess I haven’t been since November. I do have my own goals of losing weight (an annual ritual) and I would like to get back into the gym, but I haven’t made any resolutions to that effect.
Having chronic pain may rule out too much physical activity and your energy is dedicated to just surviving each day. If you have a disease like me (ankylosing spondylitis), exercise can help you manage symptoms and slow down the progress of the disease. For others, anything beyond just getting out of bed and moving minimally throughout the day is just out of the question.
Whatever your goals or resolutions, be kind to yourself this year! Americans place too much value on doing instead of being. Our attitude on how we value ourselves and others can be summed up by the phrase “what have you done for me lately?” Just recently, I realized that some acute stress was piling up, and through prayer, I discovered that all the stress was related to feeling pressure to get things done. I was reminded that my value is in not what I do or don’t do, but who I am. Those who love me, see me for who I am, and not just what they expect from me. The stress levels went down.
When a baby is born, her parents love her before she has done anything. If a tragic disability takes away that child’s ability to do anything in her future, the parents love her still. God loves us like parents who fawn over their newborn. And when we are not able to do everything that we expect of ourselves, not to mention what others expect, God does not love us any less!
I am not saying that God places no expectations upon those who follow them for how they live their lives. But these expectations are usually related again to who a person is, what their character reveals, not simply what they do. If you are a dishonest person, then that is certainly a concern to God. However, if a disease robs you of your production at home, in the workplace, or even in church ministries, you do not cease to be who you are.
Make some resolutions if that suits you. But maybe you should also resolve to value yourself for who you are and not simply what you do. That might take some pressure off and 2019 might pass by with less stress and more peace!