MB #028: Adventure, Shoe Prisons, And A Letter To The American ChurchJul 30, 2023
Read Time: ~6 Minutes
Do you live each day with deep levels of peace and joy? Free from the clutches of regular anxiety, worry, fear, frustration, anger, malaise, or fog? If freedom from these isn't your normal, this is my loving reminder that you weren't designed to live that way. Peace and joy are the outcomes of a rich and healthy life the way God intended. The good news is that often it's just small tweaks and learning some new ways to look at and approach things that move us into greater health - physically, spiritually, and relationally.
If this is a topic you'd like to explore further with me - feel free to grab a call and let's chat more about it!
Welcome to The Mission Briefing, a weekly newsletter where I provide actionable insights, food for thought, curated recommendations from personal experience, from the web, and more.
Today's issue is all about foot prisons. That might not sound too exciting to you, but it's incredibly important.
Today at a glance:
- Food For Thought: Adventure
- Quote: Wendell Berry
- Fitness Tips: Shoe prisons
- Book: When by Daniel Pink
- Social Media: Disarming a gunman, Jordan Peterson & Eric Metaxas
🧠 Food For Thought:
Nearly every notable figure in scripture that God used to perpetuate goodness, bring justice, and display His glory across the earth, found themselves in an adventure. When they were sensitive to his presence or voice, they were called out to step out, risk, and adventure. Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Joshua, the Prophets, John, Jesus, Peter & the disciples, Paul, the early Church, and many more. Since this started with Adam pre-fall (Genesis 1:28), I'm inclined to believe that adventure in the life of a man (and his family) who walks with God is to be expected. Is it reasonable then to wonder if when adventure is missing, if we're actually listening to God at all?
✍️ Quote Of The Week:
“Nothing could be more absurd than to despise the body and yet yearn for its resurrection." - Wendell Berry
The Church, especially in the West has done a huge disservice to Christian men for the last couple of hundred years (at least) by not teaching on the stewardship of the human body. If in God's perfect infinite creativity he chose to create the human body and then is going to be resurrecting it, we should recognize the value He sees in it - even if we don't fully understand. To lack faithful stewardship of the body is in fact to despise it.
💪 Health And Fitness Tips:
Our feet are more important than most people give them credit for. They absorb shock, help us move properly, drastically impact and improve stability (when used properly), and are intended to be a major sensory point as we contact surfaces and provide information to our brain about the surfaces of the ground.
That said, the modern approach to shoes has significantly inhibited the benefits we are designed by God to derive from our feet.
I once heard a story about a Native American family who once invited a middle-class white boy over from their son's school. When he arrived he noticed everyone was taking their shoes off and asked why. Their response was "Don't you know that shoes make you sick?"
Additionally, Asian families have been taking their shoes off for thousands of years.
According to a 2008 study by the University of Arizona, there are roughly 421,000 types of bacteria found in and on shoes, which can cause infections in our stomachs, eyes, and lungs. Bacteria can also live longer on shoes than in other places.
Not only that, but God designed our feet to make contact with the ground in order to make us healthier, which I'll explain below.
Here are a few considerations about your feet, the benefits of ditching shoes, and the impact on your health:
- Improved Biomechanics - Biomechanics is a fancy word that simply means the way that your body moves. Essentially, wearing shoes changes the way you were intended to walk and run, shifts your posture, weakens certain muscles, and can actually cause your arches to fall. We were never intended to wear raised heals, support our arches, and have all the cushion we have.
- Grounding - The human body is quite the electrical conductor. You may know that much of our body relies on electrical currents. For example, in order for the heart to pump properly, cells must generate electrical currents that allow the heart muscle to contract. All matter consists of atoms, which consist of protons, neutrons, and electrons. If an atom has more protons than electrons, it has a positive charge. Positive in this sense is not a good thing. Much of our lifestyle today is putting us in constant contact with positively charged ions that have a lot of negative effects on our bodies. The earth has a wealth of a supply of negative ions and when we're in contact with them, they essentially neutralize the charge and help things internally to function properly. As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, the studies are showing improvements such as improved mental well-being, reduction of chronic fatigue and chronic pain, and improvement of sleep. When your bare feet are on the ground without shoes, that's where the magic happens (or better yet, go for a swim in the ocean, the best possible place to ground).
- Sensory Training - Our brain is wired through many pathways, one of which is sensory mechanisms. What you touch, smell, hear, see, and taste, all have a huge impact on the health of our neurological wiring and pathways. Your feet have over 200,000 nerve endings in them and if you're wearing shoes all the time you're cutting out a lot of the sensory reception they're intended to do.
- Cleanliness - As I mentioned, our shoes are SUPER dirty. To some degree, regular exposure to germs is a really good thing for your immune system. Dig in the dirt, touch the good bacteria, and skip the excessive hand-washing. Your immune system will thank you with fewer sick days. But leave your shoes at the door.
Note: if you've been wearing shoes all day every day for a long time, you need to start small so you don't injure them. Imagine you were wearing gloves all day every day and then decided it was time to take them off and spend 8 hours digging a trench with a wooden pick axe. Not going to go well. Not only do the skin and nerves need time to adjust but so do the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the foot. So start small with a few hours per day in the grass and work up from there.
📚 Book Recommendation:
When: Since I'm now working for myself for the first time in almost a decade, I've had to relearn a bit about how I'm wired and the ways I can structure my day for greater productivity and success. That said, even if you don't work for yourself, there are some amazing things to learn through this book by Daniel Pink. He's a genius and this book is insightful, witty, and very tactical. If you want to understand more about what kinds of things to do at what times of the day to maximize outcomes, this is the book for you.
📱 Social Media Favorites:
Jordan Peterson & Eric Metaxas - The author of one of the best Bonhoeffer biographies out there, Eric Metaxas, joins Jordan Peterson on his podcast to discuss his recent book 'Letter To The American Church'. It's a fascinating discussion and one that I think plays an important role in the Church.
If you're in our Mission-Fit Dads community, you probably saw we had a discussion spark up about home defense, concealed carry, and self-defense. I always aim to help equip (and encourage) fathers to defuse situations safely when a threat presents itself, so here's a quick YouTube short about how to disarm an attacker.