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Signposts: Daily Devotions

Wednesday, March 24

Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and birds came and ate it up. Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and it sprang up quickly, since it had no depth of soil. And when the sun rose, it was scorched; and since it had no root, it withered away. Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. Other seed fell into good soil and brought forth grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirty and sixty and a hundred-fold.
—Mark 4:3-8

We know a lot about what natural systems need. We know the consequences of trying to cheat Mother Nature. You can smoke, eat a lot of fatty junk food, get no exercise, live with lots of anxiety and anger, get little rest, and drink too much for years. Decades, in fact. Long enough for such patterns to become habits. But nature will express itself eventually with some form of disease or ill health.

At a medical conference I attended in Washington a few years ago, the speaker said that everyone knows the fundamental keys to good health. It's really simple—eat 5 servings of fruits and/or vegetables daily in a low-fat diet, avoid tobacco, exercise 30 minutes 5 times a week, get at least 8 hours of sleep.

The surprise, he said, was that only 3 percent of Americans do all of those things (only 1/2 of 1 percent of men do so).

There's a simple 5-point rule of life that I like to promote in my congregation—worship weekly, pray daily, learn constantly, serve joyfully, live generously. That's the good soil, sun and water for the growth of the spirit

Inspire us, O God, to be faithful stewards of our life—our body, mind and soul—that we may nurture the gifts you have given us and faithfully serve for the good of your creation.

These Signposts originally appeared on explorefaith in 2005.