I have – twice this week. But before you weigh in with thoughts of judgment or congratulations, let me explain that one of my three words for 2010 is Temple.
As in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.
“Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore, glorify God in your body.”
The reference is actually to sexual purity, but as I’ve pondered my three words for the year, God brought this verse to mind. Clearly. You see, God has been convicting me of my need to be healthy. In fact, a couple of years ago God impressed another verse on my heart.
3 John verse 2
“Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your own soul prospers.”
I wrote about that during my Quiet Time in July of 2007. Within a day or two, Peter had gone for a walk and returned with a burning desire to encourage me to take care of myself. He started the conversation by praising me for doing such a good job of growing in God. Then he moved to the words that were harder to hear. He wanted me to be physically healthy as well.
It’s funny. Peter had never read that verse and didn’t know that God was dealing with my heart on this issue. That was a huge confirmation that I was hearing God say it’s important to take care of myself. I started walking/jogging and even completed my first 5K race in August of 2007.
Blah blah blah. Two years later, I’m still struggling.
As I said, temple is one of my three words for the year. It was actually the FIRST word, coming to me before the other two ever materialized. I didn’t actually want to use Temple. After all, it sounds too churchy. But God kept convicting me so I present to you:
It’s challenging to balance marriage, four kids, owning my own business along with church and other volunteer commitments. The remnants of my Christmas decorations are currently beckoning me to give them a proper resting place. Dirty clothes are piled high in the laundry room floor. I love Quiet Times that last for 30-45-even 60 minutes or more. Sleep needs to fit in there somewhere too. So from a very practical perspective, how do I fit it all in?
On Tuesday as I was preparing to have my Quiet Time, I felt like God was saying – “skip it. Worship me by exercising instead.”
That certainly couldn’t be the voice of God. Could it? I’ve always said I didn’t want anything to do with aerobics because I believe that’s what they do in hell.
But you know what, I did what I thought God was leading me to do. On Tuesday I skipped reading my Bible and my journal time so I could do Pilates for Dummies. I felt great! Somehow that verse about “your spriritual service of worship” came to my mind as I was exercising. Was I worshiping God while doing Pilates? How is that even possible?
I did it again today.
I don’t have a theology degree and I don’t claim to know how it all works. Nor would I say that Bible reading isn’t important for those following Christ to learn more about Him and how to live. I simply know that for this season in my life, God is showing me that I still don’t have it all figured out. And just when I think I have God all figured out, He surprises me in unexpected ways.
Too often I see church people lead the line at the Sunday buffet, filling their plates beyond what is reasonable. I’ve been in that line myself and if you’re honest, you probably have been too. We may indeed be the first generation of parents to outlive our children because of the unhealthy patterns we’re teaching our kids. And how can we live out the number of our days, serving God and making a difference in the world, if we continue on this path?
At some point, we have to be honest with ourselves about living lives that honor God fully. It’s one thing to know all about the Bible. It’s another thing to be doers of the word, and not just hearers only.
How about you?
What are you doing to take care of yourself? And have you struggled with this issue of living a healthy life, pleasing to God? How have you done so far? I really want to hear your comments on this one!