(Photo courtesy of Natalie Baugh)
By Natalie Baugh
Ever since I was young, I have had a strong calling on my life. From the time I was in middle school, when others asked what I wanted to be one day, I would answer, “a missionary,” without hesitation. Since then, all of my academic endeavors, all of my moves in my chessboard game of life have been to set me up for the mission field. I have goals in mind and am determined to reach them.
Since childhood, throughout my undergraduate and graduate schooling, as well as since finishing, I have had the opportunity to serve in over 17 countries overseas, as well as in many local ministries. I absolutely love serving and see it as one of my ways of worship. When it came time for me to choose a field of study, I know without a doubt that Christ perfectly orchestrated me to study the field of nutrition. Of course, while serving in these various ministries both in country and in foreign countries, I have personally worked close with all of the lead servants in each ministry. I have had the blessing of living day to day life with them, which comes with observing their daily habits.
Now I always say that after studying the field of nutrition, I have been given certain “super powers” in evaluating health. In school, we are taught to perform physical evaluations on patients. Often, we are able to tell if someone is malnourished, simply by looking at their physical traits. I have noticed a trend of many lead servants: they tend to serve everyone but themselves. When I teach classes on nutrition, I often start the class by sharing that the Bible calls our bodies to be God’s temple, and thus we are to treat them with the utmost respect. I see servants often forget this calling out of their own selflessness. With their eyes focused on ministry, they put all of their efforts into serving others, which leads to little time for rest, physical exercise or a proper diet. I have come to realize that instead, servants should be the ones taking care of their bodies the most. How sad would it be for one day a servant not be able to serve the ministry they worked in their whole lives, because they became sick from an unhealthy lifestyle? Heartbreaking to say the least!
I am at fault here myself. Even recently I became very sick due to restricting my body from proper eating and rest, because I was too busy getting everything else done that I needed to. I was so saddened! I was so sick and it limited me in the magnitude that I was able to serve. God values rest so incredibly much. Think about it, he even orchestrated the seventh day of creation just for rest! Thus, I challenge you this: treat your body well out of an act of worship. See it as a form of serving as well. I know without a doubt that Christ is happy when we are healthy.
So, I have some questions for you to think about. Are you interested in serving? How are you treating your body in your day to day life? Do you allow time for a healthy lifestyle? If you yearn to make a difference in this world, I challenge you to first make differences in yourself! Spend time in rest, reading the word daily and focus on your own health. Because only then will you be able to correctly serve others.