Beside the Still Waters
By Carolyn Allen
Special note: “Weight Loss Made Easy” will now be published the first and third Mondays of each month.
For those in the United States who read this column, Happy Labor Day! The first Monday in September marks a day to recognize the social and economic achievements of American workers. It also marks the end of summer, the blessed return to schedules, and a refreshing new start on one of our most important life labors: the labor of love required to take care of our physical bodies.
Today’s Scripture: “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures. He leadeth me beside the still waters.” (The 23 rd Psalm)
Did you spend time at a pool, lake or beach this summer? We sure did, at both the community pool and several priceless days at the beach. From the time I was a little girl, the last swim of the summer, usually on Labor Day, is poignant, one to be savored and not forgotten.
Oh, water! Is there any more precious commodity anywhere in the universe as we know it than water? Before we were born, we spent nine months living in water. Our first nutrition was breast milk or formula, which would not be possible without water.
Water plays a starring role in the miracle of how our bodies grow and function — and a host of other Bible miracles as well. It’s among the first miracles of the creation … (By the way, had you ever thought that when God separated the earth from the midst of the many waters it was kind of like how we were born from the water that surrounded us?) …
Then there’s all the prophets and water: For starters there’s Noah, Jonah, and the miracle of Moses as a baby in the basket placed in the river, then with the Pharaoh and the Red Sea . There’s the story of Jesus turning water into wine, the lovely story of the woman at the well, washing the apostles feet …. why the list of stories where water plays a starring role just goes on and on!
Just as familiar as these stories is the miraculous role that water plays in our bodies …. and spirits.
You probably know these facts, but a back-to-school review of water for the body is fascinating:
Water For Our Bodies:
Water makes up more than two thirds of the weight of the human body, and without it, humans would die in a few days. The human brain is made up of 95% water, blood is 82% and lungs 90%.
A mere 2% drop in our body’s water supply can trigger signs of dehydration: fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing on smaller print, such as a computer screen. (Are you having trouble reading this? Drink up!) Mild dehydration is also one of the most common causes of daytime fatigue. An estimated seventy-five percent of Americans have mild, chronic dehydration. Pretty scary statistic for a developed country, where water is readily available through the tap or bottle.
Water is important to the mechanics of the human body. The body cannot work without it, just as a car cannot run without gas and oil. In fact, all the cell and organ functions made up in our entire anatomy and physiology depend on water for their functioning.
- Water serves as a lubricant
- Water forms the base for saliva
- Water forms the fluids that surround the joints.
- Water regulates the body temperature, as the cooling and heating is distributed through perspiration.
- Water helps to alleviate constipation by moving food through the intestinal tract and thereby eliminating waste- the best detox agent.
- Regulates metabolism
In addition to the daily maintainence of our bodies, water also plays a key role in the prevention of disease. Drinking eight glasses of water daily can decrease the risk of colon cancer by 45%, bladder cancer by 50% and it can potentially even reduce the risk of breast cancer. And those are just a few examples! As you follow other links on our website, you can read more in depth about how water can aid in the prevention and cure of many types of diseases, ailments and disorders that affect the many systems of our bodies.
But here’s a new thought: Water is of equal vital importance for our spirits.
Water For Our Spirits:
What comfort there is in the 23rd Psalm about being led beside the still waters. It is said that those who own simming pools find as much joy in just seeing the still, blue waters of the pool as they do in swimming in it.
Even without literally being led to rest there, our bodies and emotions calm and relax as we hear this scripture and immediately imagine resting beside the gentle water. In our minds we hear it lapping and see the sun sparkling. Add some darling baby ducks, graceful seagulls and some beautiful foliage to complete the vision and we’ve just quenched our need for peace and beauty. Spending this few moments is like a mini- vacation.
We get going so fast that we don’t even KNOW that we’re just as thirsty for a mental vision such as this to refresh us as we are for a drink of water on a busy day. Perhaps this is why we find such unexpected joy in reflecting pools and fountains.
In the same way it’s easy to just go get a drink, it’s easy to add “still waters” to your life for a quick vacation retreat:
Return to the Summer Right Now!
- Simply put some beautiful pictures of the beach or a lake around you! Close your eyes, and you’re there! Add a relaxing CD, sit down, close your eyes, and ….. aaahhh! You’re there with all the stress-relieving benefits that a vacation brings
- Carry a rock or pebble as a reminder of the rocks and pebbles at the ocean or lake.
- Place a small table-top fountain somewhere where you can hear the sound and see the water.
They not only provide a mini-vacation, they are great reminders that you need a drink of water. Probably right now!
Some of the best news about drinking water for health benefits is that it’s virtually free! You can drink over 4,000 glasses of tap water for the price of a six-pack of your favorite cola.
It’s a lovely thing to know that we’re not trees or plants, rooted to one spot and dependent on the rain or humans to provide moisture. Nor are we working animals, pets or children who are dependent for providing water. Any of us who can read can get up right now and head to the sink. And I, for one, am off to get a BIG drink of water right now. Sound good to you too? I thought so!
I’ll be back on September 15.
“My body is a miracle! I drink enough water to keep myself vibrant and hydrated. It keeps the miracles happening. This is God’s miracle-in-action plan for me!”