I’ve decided that I’m a ‘late bloomer’!! Most people begin new healthy eating regimes or decide to do something about their fitness in the New Year but not me.....it takes a bit of sun and a few turns at puffing up and down The Vicarage garden with the lawnmower to persuade me that I really have to get to grips with myself!
Part of my Lenten reflection was to take a good look at myself and my habits and see if the life I was living was in line with the one I felt that God wanted me to live and I came to the conclusion that God probably hadn’t intended for me to give myself stomach problems by eating the wrong food nor to waddle around in a manner more suited to someone 40 years older than I am. This last point was brought home to me quite forcibly when I did indeed meet a lady 40 years older than me who was as nimble as a mountain goat and left me puffing in her wake!!
We all pick up bad habits during the course of our lives and a lot of the time, they don’t actually impact all that greatly on our day to day living, but it’s still a good discipline to occasionally take a step back and notice whether that is indeed the case or whether we are just kidding ourselves about the impact of our habits and using any old excuse to justify the lack of care and respect we have for ourselves. We are, after all, built in the image of God, and who we are and what we do reflects who God is into the world around us.
I have definitely fallen short and have run out of excuses as to why I don’t take action. So why am I telling you this? Well, one of the crucial aspects of living a Christian life is accountability. We can kid ourselves endlessly about the things we do well and the things we do badly, both physically and spiritually but, in reality, what we all need in order to grow and mature is someone to walk the journey of life with us. Someone who will encourage us to reach our full potential, urging us on when the going gets tough and gently reminding us of our goals whilst also loving us when we falter or fall.
As Christians, that is what we are supposed to do for one another. If we hide our struggles, be they physical, emotional or spiritual, then we are effectively closing the door to a wealth of non-judgemental love, encouragement and support that is freely offered by our brothers and sisters in Christ.
So, my struggle with my physical well-being is holding me back from many things I could potentially be doing and now that the whole world (well, anyone who reads this magazine!) knows about it, I have no hiding place, I need to do something about it......and you lot can hold me accountable!!!
I’ve already begun to take action. My health-freak of a daughter has taken charge of the cooking, forcing mountains of vegetables and fruit into my protesting mouth and curdling milk with her glare when I go within 40 paces of the biscuit tin! My holiday in Devon last week involved tramping across Exmoor with the dogs, clambering over huge rocks and boulders, staggering down cliffs to the sea and crawling back up without complaint (ok, the only reason there was no complaint was that I had no breath left to utter a single sound!!). I may have woken up this morning feeling like my legs and hips belong to someone else but it is a start and now that I am accountable to you lot, there’s hope that a new and improved model of your Vicar may just emerge!!
With love - Ginni