Monday, April 02, 2007

Cholesterol and Grace

For the past year or so, I've been very aware of a need to change my eating and other health habits. But as usual, I put them off, started and stopped a number of exercise and diet programs and basically, have done nothing.

About two months ago, I started to experience right-sided chest pain which I attributed to poor eating habits, too much caffeine, and poor stress management.

I made a doctor's appointment and my doctor ordered the usual tests - cholesterol, blood count, etc. I expected to get a wake up call that would prompt me to make the necessary changes. I got a wake up call, but not the one I expected.

I am mildly anemic, which is no surprise due to a physical predisposition to anemia. My cholesterol, though...transfat-eschewing, vegetarian, triatheletes ASPIRE to have the cholesterol levels I have. My HDL (good cholesterol) is higher than my LDL (bad cholesterol). And I do nothing to deserve such healthy levels.

Apparently, God's grace extends beyond my (spiritual) heart to my (physical) heart...and the blood that feeds it!

So what does this mean to my health habits? To paraphrase Paul, "what shall I say then? Am I to continue eating chips and diet coke for breakfast, and ignore vegetables altogether so that grace may increase? May it never be!"

I believe the message here is that grace covers every corpusucle of my being. Yes, I need to eat better and exercise more (I don't think I could eat worse or exercise less!), but even eating the recommended five fruits and vegetables and exercising thirty minutes each day, it is still God who ulitimately makes me healthy...or not. I'm to trust and obey Him, whether I'm eating a ham & cheese omelet (with a side of bacon) or an egg white veggie omelet. And during those times when I don't, His grace covers even medical science.

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