HOBBIES ARE GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH

Do you have a hobby? Hobbies can give meaning and purpose to your life in retirement. As Robert Putnam points out in his book, Bowling Alone, it’s easy to discount the importance of hobbies and social engagements. Putnam details the widespread decline in civic engagement, from PTA memberships to neighborhood potlucks and bowling leagues. Over a couple of generations, Americans have misplaced the concept of free time.

SPECIAL PLANS FOR YOUR SPECIAL PEOPLE

Lily is a beautiful, active and full of personality toddler who happens to have Down syndrome. Lily’s parents and I have been friends for years and I have the continuing pleasure of watching Lily and her siblings grow up. While Lily is becoming a physical therapy rock star and hitting all her milestones in a timely fashion, her parents have started planning for the future.

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WHY WE ENJOY OUR HOBBIES

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a hobby as “a pursuit outside one’s regular occupation, engaged in especially for relaxation.” Hobbies include anything from playing a musical instrument to gardening, bird watching or sewing. A hobby is a way of focusing on something you enjoy just for the sake of that enjoyment. It may also be a way to clear your mental palette. You could be stressed out by a situation at work or the challenges of raising children and need an escape.

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carry concern for the serious challenges and pain of others.


I know people of every spiritual world who have greater joy than they ever thought possible because God has met them where they are. There is healing and hope for us all.

Many people feel like a vibrant spiritual life is out of reach. They aren’t even sure they want to reach for it.


We hear friends talk about trusting God, having peace with God, even hearing from God. We have relatives whose lives are shaped in positive ways by their faith. Neighbors have confidence that they will live in a better world after this one. But, at least so far, what transforms others hasn’t convinced us.


“Maybe,” we whisper, “God is for other people but just not for me. Perhaps God is like a square peg and I’m a round hole. We just aren’t made for each other.”


Confession time: I used to try to reshape “round hole” people so they could be like me. I’ve stopped that.


I have learned that people are as different on the inside as on the outside. What troubles us, drives us, what gives us healing and hope, even what separates us from God varies from person to person. I have found that a healthy spiritual life begins with understanding our own spiritual shape.

YOU ARE NOT A ROUND HOLE; GOD IS NOT A SQUARE PEG

Here’s a quick intro to what I call the five spiritual worlds:


The Foreigner feels isolated and marginalized. Intimacy with God and people is both desperately wanted and difficult to achieve. It often becomes less painful to give up on relationships and travel alone.


Fighters are gripped by injustice and are compelled to help people and fix things. But there are always more problems than resources and the desire to make things right becomes tainted with frustration over society’s indifference.


The Faint feel like they are unseen. They have something to offer, but wonder if they can ever be whole unless and until they do something significant.


Fugitives have a clear sense of right and wrong and want to live right. When they fail, they feel guilty and hope to be forgiven and to make amends.


I call the fifth the world of the Flattened, because these people feel the weight of the world on their shoulders. They are not only aware of their own problems, but

DR. DAVID DURST

David Durst is the lead pastor at New Life Community in Lexington, Kentucky, instructor at Indiana Wesleyan University, and author of Finding God in Your World and Could God Be for Me? Finding God in Your World can be found at: DavidMDurst.com, 5worlds.org, or your favorite book sellers. The author can be contacted at 5worldwitness@gmail.com.

more articles by dr.david durst