Three Fuels of the Human Spirit

Filed under Feed Your Strength on Nov 04 12 by

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Maybe you buy new Christmas lights every year. Or perhaps you meticulously wrap them in such a way that you can actually use them over and over without spending hours untangling. Regardless of our system, we are all able to picture hopelessly tangled wires.

The tensions in our life mirror those wires, at least at times. We usually don’t have just one concern or worry—we have many. Some will never pan out, but we adopt them anyway, just to have another tangle in our wire set of worry. And like any system of knots, sometimes the reason for one tension cannot be addressed until another worry is worked out.

So life is guaranteed to be a tangle. How can we best address the tension and worry that mount every day of our lives?

It is our spirit that must meet our tensions head on. Spirit is what drives us to keep on. To lose spirit is to lose the drive of our life. An unfueled and untended spirit leaves us with no resources with which to face our worries. It seems there are three fuels of the human spirit: (1) food, (2) activity, and (2) intimacy.

Food as Fuel

All food fuel is not created equal. If you consider that the Western/American diet has precipitated the sickest modern culture across the last 50 years, you wonder what is amiss. We are immersed in a lifestyle that eats to get sick and then takes advanced drugs to treat symptoms that conspire to create side effects so that more drugs are required. Our health becomes a maze similar to the tangled Christmas lights.

The absolute tragedy is that this maze is nearly 100% preventable. Not just fixable—which of course, it is—but preventable. We never have to enter the Christmas light tangle of poor health.

We have learned to eat in such a way that we are addicted to the very foods that turn our bodies into an acidic wasteland, disabling the brilliant immune system created by our body’s manufacturer—God.

The following statistics are charted from a middle-aged patient who was treated with only plant-based foods (no medications) for 13 weeks by two physicians in the documentary, Forks Over Knives:

Before After
Weight 231 211
Blood pressure 142/82 112/70
Resting pulse 92 60
Total cholesterol 241 154
LDL cholesterol 157 80
CRP* 6.0 2.8

*A highly sensitive CRP test can detect inflammation in the heart and blood vessels. Levels greater than 3.0 may mean high risk for cardiovascular disease.

This man’s health was deemed fixable by just immersing his body in the dramatic healing offered by eating a whole-food, plant-based diet. Good health, even great health, is ours to choose—or lose.

Activity as Fuel

You think, “Is she going to tell me to exercise?” Well, yes and no. Yes, MOVE! But don’t quit until you find the combination of movement that becomes a passion. If it’s a passion, it ceases to be exercise and becomes momentum for your life.

Our small town closes its main street for a few hours on Halloween afternoon, and costumed children get candy from the town’s storefronts. This year, a flash mob came to life during the event, and it was none other than a vibrant set of women of all ages who participate in Zumba. You could tell it was a passion; activity has become a driving force in their lives, giving them energy for the tensions and worries inevitable in life.

Physical activity that is momentum for you sparks chemistry in your body that slows down the rust of aging. Right eating and activity combine to make weight gain a non-issue, eating a joy, and energy for life pursuits easily attainable. In short, it is like putting high octane fuel in your once sputtering, near-lifeless car. Why settle for anything less?

Intimacy as Fuel

While we are bringing our physical best to face the tangle of worries in our lives, we can add to it the greatest detangler of all: intimacy with God. For some reason, God seems to place hope on the other side of a blind-covered window. Opening the blinds and the window takes effort, God’s version of that effort being an all-out pursuit of His unconditional love for us. The reward of our effort is unquenchable hope that makes the detangling of worries well within our grasp. Chase God; find unconditional, intimate love expressed just to you; and then get a full view of the hope designed by God just for your day’s specific needs and worries.

Why are we surprised? The Manufacturer of our bodies, our souls, and the original Christmas Light sees our lives not as a tangle, but a beautiful string of days conceived by Him, connected by events and people and serendipity that only He could author, sure to light the world with our gifts and efforts.

Fuel up with the best.

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Debi White
Debi is a former NC elementary teacher and middle school principal. As an educator, she was keenly aware of the need to inspire students and teachers, helping each to understand what keeps the heart melted and learning and productivity strong. She left education to research, on a broader scale, how each of us can move from exile to freedom in every area of our lives. For daily inspiration, check out her blog at