In your daily life, are you surrounded by man-made terrain, or are you surrounded by God-made terrain? Do you blunt and blind your senses with shoes? Do you rob and starve your brain by being sedentary?
I ask these questions because this weekend I am at the beach. Yesterday I was walking, running, and playing in the sand, the shifting sand. I realize that I was exposing my brain and body to rich sensory information. The shifting sand, the sun, the wind - they were all coming together to create an experience, a buffet of nourishment for my brain.
We were created to be nourished and flooded with rich, sensory information ever single day. It shouldn't be a rare treat. But yet, for most of us, we have traded in our rich sensory buffet for day-old bread and water. That is most of us spend the majority of our time sedentary, in shoes, under fluorescent lights, or in a concrete "jungle."
We are simply not experiencing all the rich nourishment and vitality that has been created for us. We are settling for bread and water when we could be out dining on steak and wine (metaphorically). Our bodies were made for the sensory experience that our world is supposed to provide. Experiencing our world in it's natural form - walking in the grass, climbing hills, going for hikes, playing in the surf - is one of the pleasures that not only nourishes our brains, it fine tunes our bodies. It strengthens our souls and literally makes us stronger and healthier.
We were not meant for a life in the "civilized" jungle of concrete, brick walls, and fake lighting. Blue skies, cotton-ball clouds, and rolling green hills were actually created to romance us into exploration and vitality. Do you want to improve your health? To lift your spirit? To reduce your stress? Take off your shoes and go for a walk in the grass. Let the blades of grass kiss the virgin space between your toes. It will pleasure your brain and lift your soul. It will help turn your hamstrings on and put a spring in your step.
The point is, bust out! If you want to experience the fullest level of health you were created to have, you need to experience the wonder and gift of all the beauty and textures that have been placed around you. Chairs should only be used to rest in - not live in. Shoes should only be used to protect your feet when necessary. They shouldn't be a coffin of sensory deprivation.
I know we can't live outside all of the time, nor do we need to forsake homes and shelter. But, we should experience our world often, if not daily. We are putting ourselves in isolation and we are moving further and further away from the vitality we were created for. We are afraid of germs, we live to eat and sit in chairs, and we walk around in a weird stressed state of anxiety mixed with the depression of a lifetime of "what ifs".
It is time to trade in the stress and brokenness of existence for the joy and wholeness of life. Man cannot live on bread and water alone. We were made for a buffet of rich, sensuous "food". Take off your shoes, go outside and experience the beauty that is waiting to nourish you back to life. Go play in the shifting sands.