At first glance submission and authority are the perfect polarity until one realizes that there’s a causal relationship between the two.
The results of our most recent national elections have been finalized for a couple of weeks now so the question is; have those who have been elected to power submitted to the needs of the country and its citizens? This raises another question which needs to be considered before we can answer the first and that question is why do people vote? I was first eligible to vote in the 1999 national elections but I did not vote because the person I was going to vote for was obviously going to be elected president. I distinctly remember the conversation I had with my dad over the phone when I told him that I didn’t vote- he was silent but I heard his disappointment loud and clear. At this point I realized that choosing to vote or not based on who I thought was going to win was not the right thing to do. At the next elections in 2004 I cast my vote for the first time and I expressed my opinion on who I was backing to lead my beloved South Africa as its president. In the aftermath of the 2009 elections I would learn another important lesson- do not use fear to determine who to vote for. As a result of the fear I had regarding some uncertainties on economic policy I had split my vote for national and provincial governments across two political parties. The fear was an indication that I was unprepared to cast the vote and I should have educated myself on the uncertainties I had regarding economic policy so that I wouldn’t split my vote. It is now 20 years since I was first eligible to vote and now I cast my vote based on the future I see for our beautiful country and the principles which will help us get there. Although this is just my example, we all clearly vote for different reasons but we may need to ensure that those we give the authority to govern are submitted to the needs of the country and its citizens instead of electing those we see as the authority that has gripped our hearts through their great promises.
How does the causal relationship between submission and authority work in our personal lives? The more one submits the more authority they have. In the area of our finances, the more we submit to the principle of living below our means by ensuring that our expenses are less than our income we give ourselves the ability to put our money to work by saving and investing. Our invested savings will create wealth which gives us more authority. Take it a step further and plug the leakages from our expenses and develop the skills that will increase our income then we multiply the impact of this principle. Some say that we can be healthy at any weight. Really!? Or is that what some people say who refuse to accept the idea that there is a healthy weight for each individual. Depending on where you are you will need to submit to your required ratio of energy consumed (food intake) vs energy expended (exercise). The more you do this, the better your weight and the authority you have over it. Energy consumed and energy expended cover the pillars of nutrition and exercise which are some of the key components of your health and wellness. Another important pillar is the pillar of rest & recuperation. When you have a pressing deadline coming up, what is one of the first things you sacrifice in order to meet that deadline? It’s most probably sleep and sleep is our primary form of rest & recuperation. The World Health Organization recommends 7-9 hours of sleep per night for 18 to 64 year olds. Are you submitting to the principle of rest & recuperation by getting enough sleep every night? If you consistently sleep less than 7 hours a night you are sleep deprived. Sleep deprivation is linked to the following lifestyle diseases; heart attacks, stroke, cancer, obesity, dementia, depression & diabetes. Notice how refusing to submit to rest & recuperation has a negative impact on the other two key pillars of your health and wellness. Is your lack of sleep worth the long term risk?
Our technology connects us in ways that were simply unimaginable 20 years ago and yet loneliness is a prevalent phenomenon in our society. Loneliness is a serious health risk because it is not just making us sick but it is killing us as well. We become sick because it impairs immune function and the mortality risk is as high as smoking and roughly twice that of obesity. Unfortunately, loneliness is stigmatized in our society which makes it more difficult for those suffering from loneliness to connect with others. Should there be someone who’s willing to share with you about their loneliness, are you willing to listen to them and give them the opportunity to reconnect with another human being? I know I am.
The technology connects us but we are failing to connect at a human level. Why is this so? Our technology brings a lot of convenience into our lives which is great but have we mistakenly brought that same convenience into our relationships? Good relationships are not built on convenience. Yes, send that text and reply with an emoji but don’t let the majority of your human interaction occur through your fingertips. Hearing someone’s voice, seeing their smile and their eyes light up is good for you and them. The more we reduce our face to face interactions the more we miss out on these physical and emotional benefits which are crucial for our mental wellbeing. We must remember that relationship (primary & secondary) is to our spirit what oxygen is to our physical bodies. Human relationships are not just physical but they have a spiritual component as well. Ignoring your spirit or having your identity anchored on your physical being and sprinkling it with some spirituality is the true definition of a dead man walking.
This brings us to the fourth pillar of health & wellness which is the anchor of the first three; rest & recuperation, nutrition and exercise. Anchoring these three on the firm foundation of faith makes it a wholistic approach for one to build a life of significance. Your physical being rests & recuperates through sleep, receives its nutrition from the materials fed into its cells and develops & maintains good movement patterns through exercise. Faith opens the door to your spiritual being and once you’ve opened it, how do you find rest for your spirit, how do you feed your spirit and how do you exercise your spirit?
Your spirit rests and recuperates by accepting the spiritual laws of the universe. Living in purpose feeds your spirit. Serving, your activities in solitude and giving are forms of exercise for your spirit. Submitting to the spiritual laws of the universe gives you authority and increases your influence in our planet. If the authority you have leaves your spirit malnourished, what are the other spiritual laws that you need to submit to?