Sermon Series: SAD – Spiritual Affective Disorder
Title: Walk This Way
Deuteronomy 30:15-20, Psalm 119:1-8
February 10, 2019
Rev. Sandy Johnson
Well, here we are in week six in our series on spiritual affective disorder. You know disorder that some folks get when they take their eye off Christ? Sometimes it’s accompanied or associated with the seasonal affective disorder that can happen in the winter months. The winter season can become dreary and unproductive. Feelings of depression and hopelessness can accompany both disorders – the season and spiritual affective disorders both.
Thankfully there is hope for both. If your feeling especially sad and out of sorts, please see your physician. If you are feeling spiritually depleted, stay in your seats! You’re in the right place! For six weeks we’ve been talking about the various things that we can do to clear out the cobwebs on our spiritual practices and get us back on track, living into the fullness that Christ has called us.
We have tapped into the light of Christ and have demonstrated the willingness to be different, to seek God through our spiritual practices so that we can be our best selves. So that Christ can live through us in everything we do. We keep coming back each week to learn more because we desire God and know that through the teachings of this sermon series, we can relight our relationship with God and become the very best we were born to be.
I think we’ve already realized that not doing anything just isn’t an option. If we aren’t moving forward, if we aren’t making progress, if we are stuck in our daily practices, we are actually slipping backwards. Making the decision to be different is the hardest part of this experience. What do they say? The hardest thing is admitting you have a problem? Well, dear sisters and brothers, we all have a problem. None of us are experts at creating and living our spiritual lives to their fullest – even those of us hwo do this for a living, 24-7, we all have room for improvement.
John Wesley understood that also when he shared that we were all growing in grace to perfection, not that we will attain it, but that we fervently strive for perfection. That perfect relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
We have learned the power of music and laughter, we practiced being kind and learned that it feels good to share as well as receive kindnesses. Last week I encouraged you all to go home and create an altar, set aside some sacred space, a place of holiness inside your home. I loved that the kids were so into this.
How did you do? Tell me what you created or already had created at home. Do you feel differently about that space now that you’ve designated it as holy? Sacred?
This week we will discover the spiritual benefits of moving our bodies. Of walking this way. Perhaps this should really be titled, walk whatever way suits you best! What’s vital is moving our bodies and experience not just the physical benefits but the spiritual benefits as well.
Let’s start with the physical benefits. Now, I’m not advocating 24 Hr Fitness, but this video explains what I’m talking about.
The health benefits of moving our body are well known. Benefit are seen in our heart and lungs, our mood is improved, and we have decreased risk for a whole variety of diseases. How would this impact our spiritual beings? What spiritual benefits could we expect from being physically active?
Our scriptures talk about “walking in God’s way, and observing his commandments, decrees and ordinances.” Properly walking in God’s way leads to being blessed, we are to keep our focus on God, on his ways and to following Jesus’ teachings to love God and to love one another. Walking in the path of Christ keeps us happy, blameless and making right choices. What if physically walking could help with the spiritual walking?
Spiritual benefits from exercise could be as simple as you are able to stay awake during my sermon. Those who exercise get better sleep, better sleep means you’re more awake during the day. Being more awake and full of energy helps when I get a bit boring, perhaps you’re able to stay awake all the way through the sermon, not just catching the beginning and the end. The middle is where the best meat is, just saying!
Let’s look at four spiritual benefits of exercising.
4 Spiritual Benefits Of Exercising
“1. Healthy Body, Healthy Mind, Healthy Spirit
The body, mind and spirit are so undeniably intertwined. When we’re spiritually deprived, our body and mind feel its effects. When we’re physically hyped up, we are also mentally and spiritually hyped up as well.
In Luke 10:27 Jesus commanded us, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind…”
When our whole being loves God, we grow in every aspect as well, especially the spiritual.
The second spiritual benefit of exercise, Discipline Gets To Everything
Physical discipline doesn’t just remain physical discipline. It trickles down to every aspect of us. Rarely do we meet people who are disciplined physically that aren’t disciplined financially, relationally or even spiritually. An increase in physical discipline can directly boost your spiritual discipline.
The third spiritual benefit of exercise, More Focus And Energy
A study with 6,807 subjects showed that exercise significantly decreased levels of fatigue. When we focus more and have more energy to do things, we start to do more things. What if you could actually do more for your spirit than just your career, relationships or ministry? What if with this increased focus and energy you take more time to read the Bible, worship God or to serve others as a means to be refreshed yourself. Just imagine!
The last spiritual benefit of exercising, Good Health As Worship
1 Corinthians 6:19 is a good reminder: “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own.”
Because our bodies are now God’s temples and the Holy Spirit now dwells in us, it only makes sense that we care for it more. When we care for our bodies by being pure and keeping ourselves healthy, we are actually worshipping God.”
Walking can be a great exercise option for most of us. It gets us outdoors and into space where we can appreciate God’s creation. “Walking helps to clear your mind and promotes problem solving.” If you have a smart phone, you can listen to podcasts about spiritual topics, listen to your bible app reading scripture or listen to music that inspires you.
Two years ago, I began practicing yoga. I had intuitively known that I needed to do yoga and had thought about it for years. Yes, years! Yoga means “union with God,” and its practice helps you to be conscious of your connection with spirit.” Yoga feeds both my physical body and my spiritual body. I feel a connection with the Divine when I practice yoga.
Walking and yoga are two things we all can do. If you are thinking, gee, that sounds like more than I can do I want to remind you that even a short walk can provide benefits. I know that the Senior Center offers yoga and it can be done while sitting if needed. What’s important is to keep our physical and spiritual selves at our best.
And so…your assignment this week is to move your body! Or Walk this Way…
This week move your body:
1. Take a walk around your neighborhood. Start with 15 minutes and build up to 30 minutes a day.
2. Go to the gym
3. Attend Monday Yoga with Kathleen
4. Park farther away from the front door and get extra steps.
5. Walk your dog
6. Go dancing with your partner
7. Weed your garden
 Deuteronomy 30:16