By CHRIS FIELDS
Genesis is a book that gives us our first introduction to God. Genesis 1:1 is one of the first scriptures we memorize as Christians. The story of creation, the story of Adam and Eve and their fall, are the first Bible stories we are taught as children.
When we think of Genesis being descriptive of God, we think of Him being the Creator of all, and one of the assumptions of God’s character instilled in us is that He made us creators, as we are made in His image, which Genesis also tells us. But reality and actuality denote that it is impossible for humanity to create. The definition of “create” is to bring something into existence, and Genesis tells us that God brought everything into existence and tasked humanity with realizing all that He created.
The attribute of God that He wants us to understand in Genesis is His servitude. God created everything specifically for humanity so we could thrive and reach our potential. Everything He made, He designed with humanity in mind. He used His ability to provide for us and in turn instilled that same heart in us when He created us in His image.
Christ coming to earth to demonstrate how to live for Him, and dying for us to make it possible to live with Him eternally, is the ultimate act of servitude. Christ uses who He is to serve us. The servitude He provides is everlasting, and we benefit from His service 24/7. This is why the Bible implores us over and over to use our gifts and abilities to serve our neighbor with the intent of showing the love of Christ and honoring Him. Jesus even deems this the most important commandment when asked, and it’s a command of service.
Service to our neighbor is the most God-like and Christlike thing we can do, yet we often fall short. Whether it be a lack of understanding or will, or an inability to get over our selfish inhibitions, we fall short, and it’s evident every time we look around. If the world around you is getting worse, that’s all the proof you need. If you see struggle, lack, hate, strife and dissention, that’s all the proof you need. If you are aware of children being born in a world where everything is stacked against them, that’s all the proof you need. We don’t get the option of whom we’re born to or what situation we’re born into, but we do get the option of leaving a better situation for the next generation.
One way we have an effect on the next generation is our physical, mental and spiritual health. Our tendencies are chemically ingrafted into our genetic makeup and passed on to our children, and if they continue in those ingrafted behaviors, then they pass them to their children and so on. What we consistently do, how we process thoughts, how we respond to imposed physical and mental stress, the love we give, how we treat our bodies, is all a chemical process, and if done consistently for long enough, it becomes a transferrable genetic attribute.
One of the main risk factors of potential disease onset is family history. Almost all known diseases are genetically inclined, and how another person lived their life before you may increase your risk of some type of health issue. Physical health issues are genetically transferred. Mental health issues are genetically transferred, as are spiritual health issues.
As a health professional who specializes in behavior change as it relates to exercise, nutrition, chronic disease management and prevention, I will only touch on my area of expertise. It’s scientifically proven that chronic diseases are genetically passable, along with nutritional habits and exercise habits, so one way to leave a better situation for the next generation is to consistently change how we eat, how we cope with imposed stress, and the consistency of our physical activity and exercise habits. This will help reduce chronic disease incidence in the future.
We are facing a time in history where generations to follow have the highest projected rates of chronic disease incidence this country has ever seen, and we are responsible. Nothing we do ever solely affects us. Our actions always have future implications, and they should be to serve those who come after us, just as Christ serves us.
Chris Fields is the founder and executive director of H.E.A.L. Mississippi and a graduate in kinesiology with advance studies in nutrition. He serves as a clinical exercise physiologist/CPT and is credentialed in Exercise Is Medicine through American College of Sports Medicine