In a strange way, this week has been one of the most challenging, thought-provoking, exciting weeks of my life. I've made some important decisions. I've pushed myself to where I didn't think I could go. I've pondered some big-picture questions.
Maybe this column will encourage you to do the same. It is that time of year after all where many people participate in spring cleaning - why not carry over the same principle of comprehensive renewal into areas of life a little more important than dusting areas of the house nobody sees?
Get out of a rut, make a change, do something that's been on the back burner for a while.
One area of my life I've finally made some headway on is health.
Namely, I've stopped drinking pop. To put the magnitude of that decision in perspective, prior to last Sunday, I can't tell you the last day I didn't have multiple cans/bottles of that caffeinated, carbonated, corrosive beverage. I can tell you it had been years.
In just six days, I feel a lot better, even though Pepsi-Cola is reeling from its drastic decline in Mountain Dew sales. I've replaced pop with milk, juice (not the sugary stuff that pretends to be a healthy alternative) and water. The biggest key to my success has been my support structure -- my wife, family, friends, co-workers and now hopefully the Copper Country. Keep me accountable, people!
I'm still working on the exercise thing, which I've alluded to in a previous column. And I have more motivation than ever to take that goal to the next level.
Namely, I played pick-up soccer with some Finlandia and Michigan Tech students this past Monday. I've never been known for my endurance, but 20-yard sprints shouldn't make a 23-year-old short of breath ... and five days later, I'm still sore. Yikes. I used to be pretty good as a varsity soccer player for the Copper Country Christian School -- it's amazing how fast you can lose it! Time to get it back.
As critical as a health transformation is, it's still not the most important thing in life or the most important decision I've made this week.
As everyone knows, it's Easter weekend, and despite retail outlets using it as yet another opportunity to make a quick buck, there's obviously a lot more to Easter than that. It's a great time for a spiritual transformation as well.
I suppose we all view religion a little differently, but I don't think anyone would question its importance or the ramifications of the beliefs it espouses. Coming off Michigan Tech's Keweenaw Pride week in which we were all encouraged to challenge stereotypes and love each other, maybe it's time to apply the same principle to religion.
The commemmoration of Jesus' death and resurrection has been reduced to a guilt trip to attend church once a year, instead of serving as the backbone for a day-in, day-out lifestyle.
You can probably already tell where I stand on the issue, but at the very least, this time of year serves as a great opportunity for all of us to pause and consider the importance of the holiday and its implications on our life.
A theologian once said "Christianity without the resurrection is not simply Christianity without its final chapter. It is not Christianity at all."
The Bible confirms that in 1 Corinthians 15:17: "If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile."
Either Christianity is a hoax, or its implications are so far reaching that they shape our views on the origin of life, our destination when we die, morality and the meaning of life. It's no insignificant matter.
In light of that, I'm striving to push my faith to a new level.
I'm not trying to preach -- I'll save that for ministers around the world tomorrow -- but I'm hoping that as I've grappled with some of these important life issues, you'll join with me in doing a little life spring cleaning this blessed Easter weekend.
Stephen Anderson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.