While the doctor was away hoping the blood pressure would lower, my son asked me how to lower one's blood pressure. I responded by eating healthy foods and exercise; two things my son does not naturally do. (I must admit my love for desserts, especially ice cream, does not fall in the healthy food category.) Funny thing, the doctor came back and had the same discussion with us.
Listening to our body talk is one of the ways God speaks to us. If we do not take care of our bodies, our bodies will respond. Sometimes quickly and other times more slowly, but at whatever the pace, our bodies will speak back to us if we do not care for them. There is a spiritual reason to take care of the body God has given us. Paul wrote, "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)" We are the stewards of the body God has given us. If one is a follower of Jesus, God's very own Spirit dwells within us. What a powerful motivation to care for our body!
By the way, I am not saying all of our health problems are based on not taking care of our bodies, but many are. If only we would listen to God speak through our body. I learned the hard way. For example, when I ride bike, I now wear gloves even though it might be 50 degrees because of past choices. Plus, I learned from my health plan how different countries or people groups have different illnesses based on lifestyle choices: the U.S. has much cancer; Japan has much hypertension; the list could go on. All we need to do is change our lifestyle and listen to God speak through our body, right? But we can be so stubborn!
This week a young man I know stayed home from school because he felt congestion. Well, he was in my kitchen coughing the day after he stayed home. I observed something about his attire; he had no coat or sweater with him even though the temperature was 36 degrees. His body was speaking, and I wonder if he will listen.