CREATION Health is a wellness system that looks back to the creation story and draws from it God’s plan for complete wellness. Using the acronym CREATION (Choice, Rest, Environment, Activity, Trust, Interpersonal Relationships, Outlook, Nutrition), it addresses the multi-dimensional nature of humanity dealing with emotional, spiritual, relational, mental and physical health for achieving abundant living. The first letter addresses Choice.
“Choice,” says Monica Reid, MD, “is your power and right to decide. It’s the realization that you have more than one option. To choose is to know your future is greater than your past; it’s an attitude that considers the best is yet to be. Choice is your conviction: you are worthy of the best life has to offer.” (The Creation Health Breakthrough.)
The power to choose is one of the first gifts that God gave to humanity. It is the gift that separates us from the animal kingdom. The beasts live their lives by instinct and complex genetic predispositions, but we who are made in the image of God have been given the freedom to chart our own destiny by the choices we make. We can choose our relationships, our location, our profession and our conduct. We can choose who or what to worship, how we eat or whether or not we exercise. There are some responses that are reflexive, but the vast majority of the actions we take are based on a choice. We choose to get out of bed, to bathe, what to wear, what to eat, to go to work or not, the route we take. Some of us are even blessed to be able to choose the kind of work we do. So many choices! Some sources say we make thousands of decisions every day and almost every one of them is the result of a choice. There are some choices we cannot make, like our family of origin or the circumstances of our birth; but we can choose what to do with the life we have been given.
Have you ever tried to excuse yourself by saying that you had no choice? Or perhaps you tried to blame a situation or another person for causing you to do or not do something? In his book The DNA of Relationships Gary Smalley says, “…all of my thoughts determine all of my actions and emotions. It doesn’t matter what others do to me or what circumstances I face every day, I determine all of my feelings by what I choose to think and how I choose to react to what happens to me.”
For about three years I have been making excuses for my obesity. I’ve blamed the closing of the local gym, my sedentary job and not having the time to exercise. I have excused myself because of the pain in my lower back. I had no energy because I was stressed out about circumstances in my personal life, and my list of excuses continued. Then one day when the largest suit I owned could hardly button, I tipped the scale at the heaviest I have ever been, and my doctor used the phrase “pre-diabetic” during my annual physical, I made the choice to stop making excuses. Up to that point I had given up control of my health to circumstances and excuses, but the power of choice helped me take back control of both my emotional and my physical health.
The power to choose is empowering. It gives us a sense of control and this sense of control can positively impact our outlook. A positive outlook can generate life giving energy. I’m a witness! Five months later I’m managing my stress, I’m happier, 27 pounds lighter and able to run eight miles without stopping. It all began with a choice that led to a plan, and the results are my testimony. Since we are not perfect beings, we will from time to time make poor choices that may sometimes lead to unpleasant consequences, Carl Bard encourages us thus, “Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.”
Guest author Mark Stoddart, MDiv, is Administrative Director for Spiritual Wellness at Shawnee Mission Medical Center.
For more information about CREATION Health visit ShawneeMission.org/CreationHealth.