Ask ten people to define “healthy” and you’ll probably receive ten different answers. One person explains good health from a physical perspective – eating well and exercise. Someone else interprets health as strong relationships. Another person determines health based on clarity and soundness of mind. All definitions are true.
We are holistic beings with many facets and the pursuit of wellness includes many dimensions. This is a beautiful design, reflective of the Designer, but it’s also complex. Complexity is an obstacle in most things, especially the pursuit of health. The reasons are a matter of biology; the body and mind are designed to streamline daily operations and avoid complexity. The brain’s goal is autopilot; the body’s is homeostasis. Following patterns without needing to think all day helps us conserve energy. This is a blessing. It’s also troublesome.
Scientists estimate humans operate in the conscious brain only 14% of the time. This means 86% of our movements, actions, choices, and behaviors are motivated by habit, reaction, and reflex. This explains why we scroll social media without realizing it, why we react to stress or fear in consistent ways, or why we rummage through the pantry at the same time each day. Long story short, we live by routine. Life happens and we respond – intentionally or not.
Routines fill a life; rhythms form a lifestyle. The Jesus-following life is a lifestyle – an adherence to rhythms and practices that bring us closer to Jesus. It is responsive rather than reactive, alert rather than passive. And the good news is it’s rooted in simplicity.