When it comes to staying healthy, come what may, resourcefulness beats rationalization every time! I will never forget the day when I saw the word “resourceful” in action.
To be resourceful is to find quick and clever ways to overcome difficulties.
I was teaching a class on fitness, discussing with participants many possible ways to increase and enjoy physical activity during the summer. Nancy spoke up and shared that walking outdoors before or after work was not an option. It was a matter of personal safety due to almost daily gunfire in her neighborhood near the southside of Chicago.
I was taken aback and I was humbled...
...for two reasons:
1. I realized that in my desire to inspire people toward taking healthy actions, I had been grossly insensitive to the often overlooked factor that is estimated to determine up to 30% of our health status: Social Determinants of Health - conditions in the environments in which people are born, live, learn, work, play, worship, and age that affect a wide range of health, functioning, and quality-of-life outcomes and risks.
If there is one thing that has been highlighted as our society deals with a pandemic and racial reconciliation, it is that while we are all responsible for our health choices, some of us have more and better health resources than others.
2. Nancy, who lacked the basic resource of living in a safe neighborhood, taught me the greatest lesson about being resourceful I have ever experienced.
Nancy lacked resources, but Nancy was determined to stay healthy by staying active despite her neighborhood circumstances. She worked in the Chicago Public Library and she devised a system whereby she would hide sticky notes throughout the building marking off walking distance segments. For example, 3 laps around the 2nd floor equated to a ½ mile. By doing this, she found a way to set and achieve a specific daily walking distance goal as she went about her regular work in the library.
Resourcefulness means finding a way to leverage what we have to achieve our goals, rather than complaining about what we don’t have.
If there was ever someone who could rationalize staying inactive due to her circumstance, it would be Nancy. But Nancy was resourceful. She focused on what she had (being a library employee) and leveraged that to solve her problem and achieve her goal.
Resourcefulness means asking God to help us wisely leverage and multiply what we have. David had a stone (1 Samuel 17), a boy had 5 small barley loaves and 2 small fish (John 6), and a widow had a handful of flour and a little olive oil (1 Kings 17). In each case, God abundantly provided by leveraging and multiplying what each person had to give.
No doubt that things are a bit unusual this summer and our health routines have been impacted. Pools are closed, many exercise classes have been cancelled, and unrestricted use of the gym is a thing of the past. We have the potential to spend our days complaining about what we don’t have, or we can be like Nancy who chose to be resourceful in the name of good health.
Resourcefulness is important for healthy living because the circumstances of life will never be fair or perfect. We must work on the problem of limited resources in our lives and the lives of others. And this will take time and effort. But, in the meantime, we can ask God to help us and others to be resourceful.
Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap. (Eccl. 11:4 NIV)
In other words…
If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done. (Eccl 11:4 TLB)
How about you?
In this summer of COVID-19, how are you and your organization faring on your journey toward healthy living? Circumstances will not be perfect or fair, but if Nancy can be resourceful, then so can you and so can I!
Good Health for Good Works Challenge: Take your focus off what you don’t have this summer. Instead, take an inventory of what you do have that can be leveraged for healthy living. Pray and give God what you do have, asking Him to help you and your organization to be resourceful!
If you or your organization could use some help in identifying and leveraging the resources you have for healthy living as we continue to adapt to these unprecedented circumstances, please contact me. I’d be happy to help!
About the author:
Ginger Hill is a Christian wellness speaker, coach and consultant and the founder of Good Health for Good Works where she helps the earnest, but often exhausted, workers in Christian organizations to take steps toward healthier living so they can fulfill their organization's mission with energy, excellence and endurance.
Psalm 92:12,14 (NLT)
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