Here’s to our Health!
We can agree that each day brings its challenges. As we struggle to resolve yesterday’s problems, tomorrow arrives, bringing with it additional hardships. Will it ever end? Not really, but we do have an option. What changes can we make to improve our quality of life?
First, we must take a deep look at our priorities and goals. Our lifestyle and pursuits indicate the hierarchy of what we consider to be important. Every individual has unique interests, and that’s okay. If fashion is our first love, then our focus will be on the latest trends. We will have a strong desire to pursue a glam lifestyle with a room-size closet full of clothing and accessories.
Our choices are always indicators of our priorities.
How did we react to purchasing during the pandemic? “In the U.S., consumers spent $211.5 billion during the second quarter on e-commerce, up 31.8% quarter-over-quarter, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.” https://www.jpmorgan.com/solutions/cib/research/covid-spending-habits
Without discipline and self-control, our desires escalate, and we never reach the point of saturation–we are unable to stop ourselves from the spending frenzy, nor do we embrace the concept of “enough is enough.” It is the pursuit of our “wants” that drives innovative ideas and the war between businesses to fight for a competitive edge. Supply and demand is a powerful force, meet the consumer’s demands or face declining sales with the possibility of bankruptcy.
And voicing our demands works quite well. Consumers spent more than 900 billion dollars online during the pandemic in 2020. And our expenditures were well beyond purchasing essential items. https://www.cnbc.com/2021/04/06/consumers-spent-900-billion-more-online-in-2020-mastercard-report-says.html
How did we end up compromising our quality of life?
We are stressed because our pursuit of happiness depends on the acquisition of tangible items—the habit of seeking self-satisfaction is driven by the opinions of others. Convincing the consumer that we cannot live without upgrades is the foundation for successful marketing and advertising. We are spending billions on personal desires. The price is costly. Our mental and emotional health has plummeted. Depression, anxiety, and constant worries prevent any chance of possessing the beauty of having peace and inner joy.
Even so, we have a growing number of people who are concerned about their frazzled lifestyle and poor quality of life. They have developed a plan of escape. The decision to opt out of the stress and emptiness from pursuing things is on the rise. Yes, we have a diverse population of individuals who have opted-in to live the country life, van life, and tiny-home life. While some may see this as unrealistic or an easy way out, it takes inner strength and hard work to make a plan, sell your material/tangible items, and distance yourself from mainstream society.
When I experienced a significant life event last year, I begin to reflect on the quality of my life. “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33. Yes, I had to start life over, but something did not feel right. I begin to pray for a change in my environment. Six months later, God answered my prayer. The change that I prayed for was in my immediate future. The landlord notified me that he was selling the property.
Alone, I drove a 20-foot U-haul truck 1500 miles, which resulted in living on the road for four days. The further south, I traveled the hotter the temperatures and the more frequent the rainstorms. Although my overnight stays were at hotels, the move from Texas to Florida required creative solutions. For 12 hours a day, I lived out of a truck. During the daytime hours, I had to GPS local supermarkets to replenish my food and ice to keep my essential food items cool.
The days were long. I looked forward to the rest stops to walk and take short naps. Replenished, I pushed toward my goal. Still, it was the most incredible experience to enjoy the scenic ride, complete with witnessing the beauty that still exists on the planet Earth. It was a tough, and tiring journey, but I did it! The decision to have a higher quality of life forced me to rethink my priorities, and I took active steps to pursue my dream.
In Genesis chapter 1, God provides us with a complete description of Creation. God made a perfect, beautiful home for the first married couple with all types of animals to care for and an abundance of flowers and trees. Does that prove that God desires for us to have a peaceful and joyful existence?
We are promised a reward to live in the New Heaven and New Earth when we are faithful to God. Until Jesus comes again, we can have a higher quality of life. It was not God’s original plan for us to live in the noise and busyness of the concrete jungle where trees and flowers are nonexistent. We have a greater appreciation of our Creator when we can contemplate on His goodness in a peaceful and beautiful environment with sunshine and fresh air where you can hear the birds sing and commune with Him in nature.
Pray for change and the strength to improve the quality of your life. But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31
Bible Study: Genesis 1
God, we need your help to change. Our desires have prevented us from having peace and joy. We admit that our lives are out of control. Please reveal to us how to live a peaceful and productive life. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2021, No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted for commercial purposes without the author’s written permission.