Wellness Program, 1895 – It’s barely dawn when the crowing rooster awakens the quiet country farm. Mother springs out of bed, quickly dresses and begins her daily chores. Even though the winter chill is in the air, she hurries out to milk the cows and give them their morning hay. Before returning to the house the hogs must be slopped and the mules saddled up for the children to ride to school.
She cooks her family a hearty breakfast then fills a bucket with warm water and begins to mop the floors. Her water was hand pumped and then heated on the stove. Mopping done, she turns to washing the family’s clothes, carries them outside, and hangs them on a line to dry. There is canning to be done from the fruit she picked yesterday. When that’s finished, she begins to think about the nightly supper, so she bakes several loaves of bread. She churned the butter, chopped some wood, and after cleaning the lamps, she put in some oil. Next she heads out to the hen house to collect the eggs she would need for dinner. The chicken had to be caught, it’s neck rung and it’s feathers plucked before she could cook it. As the day begins to fade, she sets about preparing a delicious supper. Her eggs went into a wonderful pudding she made for dessert. She fed the dog and she fed the cat and she pressed the clothes her family would need for the next day. Her iron was very heavy and had to be heated on her wood burning stovetop. Her bones were tired and her eyes heavy, but before blowing out the lights, she ran outside to make sure the barn was locked and the hen house was secure. She turned back her handmade quilt, said her prayers, and drifted off to sleep. Before she knew it, the rooster began to crow.
Isn’t it amazing how life has changed? It was hard work – simple and plain and rewarding – but hard. The idea of getting physically fit never entered anyone’s mind. They were fit.
We just peeked into a day in the life of a typical nineteenth century county mother. Dad was most likely out on the tractor tilling the ground for planting, or mending fences, or cutting down the tall grasses with his sickle.
Today we can order our food, cooked, hot and ready to eat. If we want hot water for tea, it takes just a minute or two in our microwave ovens. It’s funny how too many potato chips or bowls of ice cream seem to sneak up on us. But they are so enjoyable while we sit on our sofas watching television. We have life so good. And we can take care of that little role around our middle; all we need is a good Wellness Program. Yes, life has certainly changed.
There are so many solutions for us. We can join a gym, run, swim, play a sport, ride bikes, hire a physical trainer and start to eat a healthy diet. And when we find the program we like, if we keep at it, we will see results. It’s funny that the most difficult part of any physical program is just doing it. Unlike our mother from the 1800’s, we can choose to skip our workout if we don’t feel like doing it. She just did it.
It’s so important to stay as well and as fit as we can, and most of us work pretty hard at it. However, there is more than just being in good shape physically. We may feed ourselves the most nutritious diet we can find. But if we forget to feed our minds and our souls, we are still really not at our optimal health. Many years ago, Norman Vincent Peal wrote his well know book, “The Power of Positive Thinking.” It has been proven that if we constantly dwell on what’s wrong, we will find ourselves living in negativity most all the time. Although Norman Cousins was sick and dying, he made sure he was constantly laughing. He watched funny movies that kept him feeling good and happy. The end result for him was that he was cured. Remember, “Laughter is the Best Medicine?” Our minds are powerful tools to help keep us well and fit.
We are told that we are made up of body, mind and soul. So what is our soul? Webster’s Dictionary tells us that it is the spiritual part of a person. You can sometimes feel something deep within your soul. It’s where you ache when you are very sad and where you feel joy when you are ecstatic with happiness.
Our bodies are flesh, and bones and muscles and blood – to name a few things. Our minds give us thoughts, and speech, and the ability to learn and retain information. We have all heard the expression, “she’s a real brain.” We understand body and mind, but do we understand our souls?
In the Bible, in Genesis 2:7, it reads: “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” (King James Version) Without the breath of life within us, the body is dead… no mind and no spirit. At the end of our days, the soul leaves our bodies and with it goes the breath of life.
The good news is this. The soul lives on forever. The body will stop functioning and the brain will stop giving us words to say or thoughts to think. But, the soul will be alive. The Wellness Program that will have you fit and thriving and filled with joy exists within the pages of God’s word, the Bible. This is the one Wellness Plan we cannot fail to check out. Above all other programs, find the one that will care for your soul. It is the program God has planned for you. Be one hundred percent well – body, mind and soul.