“Everything is permissible for me, but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible for me, but I will not be mastered by anything.”1 Corithinans 6:12
These are the words that consumed my mind when my alarm went off at 5:15 am in the morning to begin my new routine that consists of drinking water with a pinch of salt followed by ketones and electrolytes, strength training, stretching and mobility movements, breathwork, prayer and fasting, meditation, and studying God’s Word. At that moment I had a choice. I could either get out of bed and honor the commitment I made to myself and to God or I could turn off my alarm, roll over, and go back to sleep like I so desperately wanted. And although some of the components of this routine are things I have mastered over several years, I had never incorporated all of these habits together or made them the first priority of my day. At that moment I began to break down that verse in my head, line by line.
“Everything is permissible for me.” I had the option to sleep in or get up. It was my choice and no one was there to encourage or criticize me either way. “But not everything is beneficial.” Even though I had a choice, there was a known distinction between the two and which one would benefit me the most, honor the commitment I made, and ultimately get me closer to reaching my goals. “I will not be mastered by anything.” The word “mastered” in this passage comes from the Greek word “exousiazo,” which is actually translated as “to have full and entire authority over the body” or “to hold the body subject to one’s will.” If you continue reading Scripture, it’s clear that this verse is referring to sexual immorality, but it resonated with me in regards to the decision that needed to be made. So I decided to get up despite how I was feeling. Why? Because I have full and entire authority over my body. I tell it when to rise and when to lie down, when and what to eat and when to go without. I demand when and how it moves and determine when to push its limits versus when to rest. My body is subjected to my will and I choose to honor God with it every time I practice intentional movement, nourish it with God given foods, experience quality sleep, practice healthy forms of stress management techniques, incorporate proper rest and recovery habits, and yes, remain faithful to my husband and not engage in sexual immorality.
Since incorporating this new morning routine, my productivity levels have increased, my fatigue levels have nearly diminished, my hormones are stabilizing, the ability in which I handle stress has improved, and most importantly, my spiritual health is the strongest it has ever been. Physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health are interconnected. You cannot fully have one without the other and I truly believe that hunger is that first element of establishing self discipline. Once you can control what you eat and drink and replace those times of cravings with prayer and fasting, nothing will be impossible for you. Being mastered by the Master is the only way to not be mastered by anything else. Early mornings no longer control me. My passions wake me up and my purpose is greater than my excuses. So now each morning when that 5:15 am alarm goes off, I’m already filling up my water jug for the day, giving God thanks with the choice and confidence that I will not be mastered by anything but the Master.