From the Super Bowl to the Black and Puerto Rican Legislative Caucus: Two Memorable Weekends
March 15, 2016 by Herbert Daughtry
It always seems strange not getting ready for or being in church on a Sunday morning. However, I still go through my morning rituals. I’m often asked, “What is your morning religious exercise?” I will take this occasion to share my rituals. Hopefully, it will inspire others to adopt all or a part of my rituals, or to encourage them to continue their own program.
-The Ritual of the Pen and Paper
The first thing I do is count my blessings. Before my feet hit the floor, I start remembering and writing down my blessings. There are 61 things for which I am grateful. I write the first letter of each word. For example, I am blessed with sound sleep at night. There are multitudes in which sleep eludes them. I am blessed to be able to sleep anywhere when night falls. I think I can sleep on a rock. So, I write “S” for Sleep. I complete writing the first letter of each of the 61 blessings.
-The Ritual of the Water
This is a 20 or 30-minute bath where I take the time to pray, meditate, practice breathing, and plan for the day.
– The Ritual of the Temple Care
The Scriptures says that our bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit: “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own (1 Corinthians 6:19).”
For 20 or 30 minutes, I anoint and massage my body during which time I continue to pray. I offer gratitude, particularly for my health, agility, energy, etc. Sometimes, I name each part of the body and express gratitude that it is working optimally.
I believe taking care of ourselves is an act of worship. As we engage in religious ceremonies which edify our spirits, attention to the care o our bodies is another form of worship. It expresses praise, adoration, gratitude, and appreciation for our physical bodies. It is one of the reasons I became vegan. I believe our bodies were not made to consume dead animals and other non-nutritious stuff that passes for food.
In the beginning, the consumption of animals was not God’s plan. In the book of Genesis, it is said, “God put forth His eating plan. And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb yielding seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for food (Genesis 1:29).
Additionally, not only do I not eat living creatures, but I also do not want to house, cage, or leash them nor kill them, not even for body wear; and, surely, I do not want to kill them for sport. My appreciation extends to all creations including the planet itself, which the Creator has provided: “The earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein (Psalm 24:1).” I am an enthusiastic part of the movements for Climate Change or Sustainable Energy, and Peace and Nuclear Disarmament. They are all inextricably woven together.
If we continue on the path of abusing Mother Nature, war, conflict, and expanding nuclear development, we will destroy ourselves. I believe the scientists who say that our present abuse and misuse of the earth have created Climate Change, which threatens to annihilate all life. Already, we have seen dramatic global changes and upheavals.
[As I was preparing this article, the Daily Challenge headlined, “Sea Levels Rise Projected to Displace 13 million by 2100.” It was written by Mr. Will Dunham. He wrote, “The number of people who could be displaced in the U.S. coastal regions due to rising sea levels as a result of climate change is much higher than previously thought, with more than 13 million Americans at risk, with a six-foot (1.8 meters) rise, including six million in Florida… Others states that could be heavily impacted in such a scenario includes: New York (901,000 at risk) and New Jersey (827,000)…”]
It should be clear to all that there are laws which govern the planet, even the Universe from the distant stars to the tiny cells in our bodies. But God gives us something else – the freedom to choose. We have the wisdom or the intelligence to learn and make decisions. When we choose to obey the laws of God and nature, great and wonderful things will follow. When we choose to disobey, we will pay a terrible price, even life itself.
-The Ritual of the Stones
I have 7 small stones which I have gathered from various parts of the world. Each stone carries a history. Scriptural references are written on them. There is a stone for each day. During the day, I connect with the stone in some way. Usually, I quote the Scripture. This is a reminder of a Scriptural promise for the day and for life.
The rituals usually require a total of 1 hour and 30 minutes. Having completed my rituals, I go for a walk for 20-30 minutes. If I can’t go outside to stretch, walk, run, shadowbox, or stretch, I do it inside. The idea is to keep moving for 20-30 minutes.
My breakfast is usually liquids. Upon arising, I drink 8 ounces of water mixed with juice from half a lemon. After the exercise, I drink 24-32 ounces of fruit juices or smoothies. I try to be in the car between 6 a.m. and 6:15 a.m. My day starts at 4.a.m. It doesn’t matter where I am in the world, I perform part or all of the rituals. I refer to the above as my total worship experience.
I am certain that these rituals which I have been practicing in some form for over 30 years have helped to save my life. It has given my body the wherewithal to resist or fight various diseases, infections, injuries, operations, and procedures. In the last four years, I had several major operations. Over three decades ago, I heard the voice of God say, “Change your health-related lifestyle.” Thus, I began to seek and teach optimal health for body, mind, and spirit.
…to be continued.