From the time we’re born until the time we die, we are each on a journey of life. Our path, our detours, the people we meet along the way and our ultimate enjoyment of the journey depend upon many factors such as where we live, what we learn, what we do, and how we play. Our journey also depends upon if we can wake up each day with the intention to take the next step in life. Do we have food that will nourish us? Do we have bodies that can move well? Are we hindered by thoughts that encourage us to quit? Do we have good air to breathe and do we breathe it well? Do we even feel like journeying and do we have others in our lives to share in our journey and help us along the way? In other words, to make our journey of life we need certain things: including good health.
Though some make think of health in terms of not having a disease, the world’s leading expert on health, The World Health Organization, defines health as a “state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being.” However, we as Tennesseans are often not well. We are not healthy. In fact, the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index ranked Tennessee as one of the least well states in the country.
So what does faith have to do with our journey and our overall well-being? For over half of Tennesseans, faith communities are an important part of life: a place where we find a reason to journey, a group of people to support us, teach us, feed us, and take care of us when we are too sick to take one more step.
Realizing the importance role faith communities play in the life journey of Tennesseans, the Department of Health has created an initiative to work with faith communities, providing resources, support, and creating a network of individuals and communities so that all Tennesseans may travel through life filled with purpose and well-being.
Will you join in the journey with us?