I went along to a wellness coach this morning for the first time. She has given me some very simple stretching and strengthening exercises to do and after about an hour of very gentle exercise I felt not tired but refreshed. Hurrah! So I will see her again. It helps to have someone who is both encouraging and to whom I am accountable on a regular basis. I hope my health will benefit and that I will be able to do more than my condition currently allows. ME (aka CFS) sucks.
Alongside the talk about gentle exercise and the importance of eating well, there was some unfortunate pseudo-science/waffy stuff. I am too polite to tell a stranger to her face that she’s spouting
bollocks nonsense, but it got me thinking. By apparently going along with it, am I dishonouring my faith? Am I opening myself to bad influences?
Not necessarily. I am willing to learn physical techniques that will be of benefit, even if they are couched in – er – terms I don’t agree with. I won’t be worrying about aligning my chakras, and I won’t concern myself with a pantheistic, New Agey, earth-worshipping approach that draws ‘energy from nature’ or whatever (you catch my drift).
I will use the breathing techniques and methods of exercise. I will praise God and thank Him for the wonders of creation, rather than seeing my redemption (?) within nature itself. If nature is sacred it is because it was made so by God. And I am not sure as to the argument that creation itself is sacred, but I am sure that we are supposed to exercise good stewardship over God’s creation. Anyway…
My faith is secure enough to be able to take hold of that which is right –
…I have [not] already obtained this, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me His own…
(Philippians 3:12 NRSVA)
– and to let go of the rest. God has given me His Word with which to ‘align’ myself (or rather, for Him to align me with!), a brain to discern what is right, and a permanent Helper to guide me and to convict my conscience when I do wrong or am tempted to do wrong –
‘Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God… We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us, and whoever is not from God does not listen to us. From this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.’
(1 John 4:1,6)
He has told me what I need to focus on and how I should be, by grace –
‘…if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us.’
(1 John 4:12)
And if I study His Word regularly and stay ‘connected’ in prayer I empower myself with the weapons I need to not worry about these sorts of questions.
‘If any of you is lacking in wisdom, ask God, who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and it will be given you.’
Incidentally, if I felt something was going too far I would have no compunction about saying so. Politely, of course.