For some of these blogs, I have decided to take one of the questions from the self-care inventory and reflect on it. I hope to jump between categories so that I can create a dialogue about some of the critical questions around self-care that come up on the inventory. I try to look at it once a week, but there is a lot there and sometimes I know I won’t stop to really think about a question. The question, ‘Do I engage in substantial exercise on a regular basis? How often?’ is a question that we do not often associate with self-care, at least in terms of ministry leadership.
I have to admit that this question (and this category of the inventory in general) are the hardest for me. I am not a person who loves physical activity, and having young children that I need to drive around from school etc makes this a hard one. It’s the one area in my life where I cannot seem to maintain consistency for the long haul. At any given moment or season in life, there will always be parts of this inventory that we are neglecting. It is probably impossible to fulfill all of these questions well, but that does not mean we should accept failure in any of these areas. Leadership requires us to play to our strengths and address our weaknesses. Exercise is about more that weight and general health, although both are very important. As leaders, our physical health is important as it does impact our ministry. The issue of exercise is about health and a long life here on earth as we serve Christ. Exercise not only aids in our physical health, but our mental, emotional and spiritual health. Our bodies are a temple and we should care for them. While there is a temptation to take our physical health to an unhealthy extreme, most leaders I know are more likely to give far too little attention to exercise than too much. Some leaders are naturally healthy, thin and active while others are not. We should not rely on, nor should we become victims of our natural state physically. Instead, we can model a holistic approach to life, ministry and faith by engaging in exercise regularly. Exercise helps us in many ways and allows us to become better, more energetic, longer lasting servants of Christ as we seek to model a Godly life to those we lead as well as those we encounter each and every day.