I have come to the realization that I am not as young as I used to be. Now this is not a bad thing, far from it. I have grown in knowledge, experience and maturity over the years (I hope). I have earned every one of my 25½ years and wouldn’t trade in a single one of them.
However, a not so fun part of growing older is that my body itself is not as forgiving as it used to be. Though I have never majorly abused the body God gave me (by intentionally harming myself, taking drugs, drinking etc…), I have not taken as good a care of it as I should have.
This neglect has been more pronounced in the years of my young adulthood. I have found myself being careless of my actions which have resulted in me injuring myself (like how I tore all the ligaments in my ankle and fractured my ankle bone a few weeks ago while playing on the trampoline with my 6-year-old brother), not eating as healthily as I should (which is compounded in not taking my needed vitamins), and not getting proper rest.
The last is actually my worst problem, and is something that many of my single adult friends have. There is just so much to do in a day that my activities take me late into the night. I am reminded of the poem,
“My candle burns at both ends
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends –
It gives a lovely light.”
Edna St. Vincent Millay, “A Few Figs from Thistles”, 1920
The Lord understands why it is important for us to take care of our bodies. He knows that the heath of our bodies affects the workings of the Spirit. In Doctrine and Covenants 88 and 89 (the latter section is on the Word of Wisdom) the Lord addresses the proper care of our bodies,
“Cease to be idle; cease to be unclean; cease to find fault one with another; cease to sleep longer than is needful; retire to thy bed early, that ye may not be weary; arise early, that your bodies and your minds may be invigorated.” Doctrine and Covenants 88:124
We are commanded to be active (not idle). I believe the Lord means active physically, spiritually, and mentally. When we do so then our bodies and our spirits find the proper harmony needed to be one.
To be able to be active and not idle we need proper rest. This means early to bed and early to rise. It has been proven that the body needs a certain amount of sleep to properly function, but that not just any sleep will do. A person needs to get to sleep by 10:00 p.m. to get into the proper sleep cycle that rejuvenates.
This is not always easy to do, but it is possible. To follow the counsel of the Lord it takes maturity, and discipline. However when we do so, we are blessed beyond measure.