The Bible Instructor's Health

The Bible Instructor's Health

The following talk was presented by Mrs. Heald at the Atlantic Union Conference meeting held in New York, March, 1947.

By MRS. ELVA HEALD, Bible Instructor, New York Conference

The following talk was presented by Mrs. Heald at the Atlantic Union Conference meeting held in New York, March, 1947. Mrs. Heald is a trained nurse as well as an experienced Bible instructor. Her practical advice to sister Bible instructors -may well be shared with the field. Her comforting words to those who have labored faithfully in the past, and who are forced now to assume a slower pace, may be well noted, especially by our workers in large cities. Tension and strain are apparent signs of the times. The Christian worker must learn to continue in service and to relax at the same time. The practical counsel given on rest periods is sound advice.—L. C. K.

The health should be as faithfully guarded as the character. So says Mrs. White in the book Education:

"Since the mind and the soul find expression through the body, both mental and spiritual vigor are in great. degree dependent upon physical strength and activity ; whatever promotes physical health, promotes the de­velopment of a strong mind and a well-balanced char­acter. Without health, no one can as distinctly under­stand or as completely fulfil his obligations to himself, to his fellow-beings, or to his Creator. Therefore the health should be as faithfully guarded as the charac­ter."—Page 195.

We are all familiar with the principles of healthful living and with nature's remedies. Thus it is not necessary to review them all here. However, there is one which I wish to stress, which in this day and age seems most neglected. Today's No. i enemy of health is tension. One in five persons has one of the de­generative diseases which are taking such a heavy toll of human life. Your doctor will tell you that one of the predisposing causes is the tempo of the times. Speed, speed, speed, the race for money, land, fame, and brilliant rec­ords is wearing down the delicate machinery and nerve energy of our physical organism.

Jesus taught from nature, and there are many beautiful lessons to learn from it. "The laws of nature are the laws of God."—Ibid., p. 196. Let us see what lessons there are for us in nature on rest.

In Isaiah 61 :3 we are called "trees of right­eousness, the planting of the Lord." Who does not thrill to the beauty of a fruit tree in bloom, or the coolness of a stately pine, or the majesty of a stalwart oak, and lift his heart in praise to a loving and thoughtful Creator? I like to think of workers as fruit trees. With fruit trees we observe that there is a period of activity and a period of rest. They have been planted, pruned, and nurtured, and in spring put forth their blossoms—a promise of fruit. Spring and sum­mer are a period of activity in nature's factory. In the autumn the harvest of fruit is accom­plished to the joy of all. Then comes winter—a period of rest and quietness.

When there is normal balance in nature, we see an abundant harvest. Sometimes we observe an imbalance, due to untoward circumstances. In northern climes it may be a "January thaw," the ice and snow disappear, and it becomes so warm that the buds and even blossoms burst forth on the trees. But soon frost and snow come again. The buds freeze and drop off. The tree may try again in spring to produce more blossoms, but with poor results. The rest period has been interrupted, and at best there will be only a partial crop. Surely Bible instructors are of the Lord's planting, and He rightly ex­pects a harvest. He will tenderly care for and nourish us by His grace.

Jesus spoke often to His disciples to "come ye yourselves apart and . . . rest a while." "I sat down under His shadow with great de­light." Cant. 2:3. If we will sit down and relax and rest quietly in His promises, we will gain strength for the conflict, learn how to lessen toil and worry, and how to speak to the glory of God.

We are not to engage in ceaseless toil, but "pray the Lord of the harvest." "The Saviour offers to share with us the work God has given us to do."—The Desire of Ages, p. 523. We are to be one with Him, and see men and women accept Him. ( John 17:21.) Let us avoid the frost and blight of weariness.

Are you chronically tired? Do you have in­definite aches and pains ? It may be that your diet needs balancing or alkalinizing, but what is more probable, you need nature's sovereign remedy—rest and relaxation. Chronic fatigue changes the body chemistry and produces acid poisons, which are cumulative and are contrib­uting agents to disease.

Do you apologize or feel condemned for taking a midday or eventide nap, or twenty minutes of relaxation? Don't, for if you will es­tablish this habit it will mark you as a person who plans and arranges his program with a desire to be in harmony with God's laws.

Take your vacation daily, as you do your food, just as you observe other health princi­ples.'Have a noonday rest, early evening relax­ation, and eight hours of sound sleep. Do not crowd your vacation into two short weeks a year.

The out-of-doors is quite conducive to rest. Find some quiet retreat where you can com­pletely relax. Watch the little creatures around you, breathe in the life,giving oxygen and the sweet fragrance of growing things. Lift your eyes to the blue canopy of heaven, and watch the clouds sail by. Stretch out every muscle, and then relax them. You will be refreshed and more able to impart to others the story of the Creator and of a soon-coming Saviour.

Relaxation is an antidote for tension. Learn to relax while working. Cultivate a serene, cheerful attitude of mind. Refuse to worry about what might happen, or what has hap­pened and cannot be undone. Rest in God's glorious promises. Trust Him more fully. "Let us turn from the dusty, heated thoroughfares of life to rest in the shadow of Christ's love."


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By MRS. ELVA HEALD, Bible Instructor, New York Conference

October 1947

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