I've been in an exercise rut for quite a while now. I did the whole Couch to 5k program with my dad with remarkable success. Then, Jacob and I signed up for gym memberships, but we've not been to the gym for over two months.
I do walk every day with my dog, Pepper. We usually get in eight to ten thousand steps a day from doing this, which is better than nothing. However, I'm not running or doing the strength training program I said I'd do.
Why, you ask?
I feel too busy. I've started a new job on the personal finance site my husband and I founded. The perks are that I get to stay at home and work from the computer in my sweatpants. The downsides are that I work on it 7 days a week because I've got a lot of catching up to do.
Since I've taken on the marketing role for the blog, I've felt like I can't keep up. I should have been doing this job over the past 2 years, but I haven't, so there is a lot to learn.
Every morning I wake up, take Pepper for a walk, and then sit down at my computer to work. I sometimes find the time to write to you here. I sometimes find the time to cook and clean.
The truth is, though, most of the time I feel guilty for doing anything that isn't working on the blog. I did not study marketing, and there is an infinite amount of information online about how to market a blog.
I have been using this as my excuse to not run or do strength training. Working out and making healthy meals takes time. It takes preparation and planning ahead. It takes energy and focus. It's not convenient at all.
You might relate to this. You have a demanding job and family and friends you'd like to spend time investing in. You also have responsibilities outside your home and job that vie for your time. Basically, you're busy.
When you actually take the time to workout or prepare a great meal, you feel accomplished, but then part of you feels guilty, like you could have gotten so much done at home, had coffee with that friend you've rescheduled with 3 times, or cleaned out your entire email inbox.
The truth is, though, that how we take care of ourselves should be a priority, not the last item on our to-do list.
There's a song- Great are you Lord -by All Sons & Daughters. It goes,
It's your breath, in our lungs. So we pour out our praise to you only.I love this song. We hear all the time that we should give money back to God's kingdom because it is all his in the first place. Which is important. However, the broader application of the concept is that our life is God's in the first place. We're trying our best to glorify him with our lives, but we have to remember they aren't ours. They're a gift. Even the breath in our lungs is a gift.
And then, there is this verse in 1 Corinthians 2:10-12 that says,
... these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For who knows a person's thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God.
We have the Spirit of God within us, which I know, but somehow still blows my mind when I actually think about the fact that I have the Spirit of God, who is more powerful, holy, and mighty than I can comprehend, living inside me.
Then, later on in 1 Corinthians, it speaks about our bodies being temples of the Holy Spirit 2 times, once in 3:16 and again in 6:19-20. The first time it is within the context of division within the church, and the second time it is speaking about sexual immorality.
So, to recap, our lives are not ours- not even the breath in our lungs. The Spirit of God, who knows the thoughts of God, lives inside me, and finally, the Bible commands me to honor my body as a temple.
I mean, wow. That's heavy. For my very temporary time on earth, God's breath and Spirit lives in me. I believe this to be true. And if it's true, that means my body, which houses the Holy Spirit, is also holy. It's sacred. It's been entrusted to me.
This begs a question.
Am I treating my body as if it is holy, sacred, and precious? Am I treating it as though it was bought with a price, and am I glorifying God with my body (1 Corinthians 6:20)?
The honest answer?
Not always, and certainly not to the best of my ability.
People say all the time that life is short, but I disagree. Have you ever sat and done nothing for 10 minutes? No phone, no music, no people, no sounds, just pure quiet. 10 minutes feels very long when there are no distractions.
Life is not too short. Life is just too busy.
When it's too busy, we forget about the things that matter because heaven feels far away, and we assume there will always be more time.
The truth is, though, you have less time today than you did yesterday. The clock only counts down, not up, and when the buzzer blares and your time is up, you'll be held accountable for how you managed it.
I pray that we manage well.
And part of managing it well means managing our bodies as well as our spirits.
God did not only give you a spirit, but also a body. We know we have to take care of our spirit, by praying and reading the Bible. We know that we are called to commune with Christ.
We know our spirit is sacred, and we spend a lot of time trying to better our relationship with Christ by being spiritually fit. Yet, when it comes to the body our spirit is housed within, we let it slide.
I believe this comes down to not recognizing our body's worth and not understanding that not only is our spirit sacred, but so is our body.
Taking time out of our day to take care of our body is important, and we have to shift our thinking.
Our health has to go from optional to nonnegotiable.
Our health can no longer be something we will work on someday, but something we are working on today and every day.
Because we're worth it. Because we're sacred. Because our physical body houses our spiritual body. Because it matters more than our distractions.
Prioritizing our health is a result of owning our worth and acknowledging that we are sacred.
Once we acknowledge the sacredness of our bodies, we'll realize they are more important than our busy schedule.
I know I have a lot of work to do when it comes to recognizing my sacredness on a daily basis and then taking care of what I've been given.
It will probably be something I struggle with my whole life, but hopefully, at the end of it all, I can look back and see the effort I made to honor my body on this earth. It was never mine to begin with, but I am entrusted with it. It's time to get serious about caring for it.