This post is written by contributing writer, Sarah.
The sun is starting to bring color back to the dusk colored world around her. Breath in Breath out. Her body moves with the grace of a being created to run. Each part of her moves fluidly with a perfect rhythm. Breath in Breath out. Just her and the run; just her and her God. Pop!
Now that my running daydream has ended, let me tell what I am really like when running. She looks at the sun rising and thinks, I should have got up earlier, this is going to be hot! Gasping for air, her feet plod ever so slowly on the pavement. Thump, Thump, Heave, Heave, Gasp. When will this torture end? Is it time to walk? Lord! Why is this so hard?
Obviously I am not a runner, but I am trying to learn ever so slowly and painfully. It’s not that I’m not athletic. I have just never been trained how to become a runner and have fun with it, but it is something I want to do now and am starting to enjoy.
Why, Sarah? Why put yourself through the torture? Well it’s quite simple. Sitting on the couch and becoming out-of-shape and unhealthy is affecting my ability to bring glory to God. Of course, I would be lying if I did not tell you a small, vain part of myself wants to bask in the sun of my me-monster moment and look good. When it really comes down to the nitty gritty though, I want to be fit so I look good for my husband and so I have the energy to do God’s will.
When I am overweight, I feel awful. Apathy creeps in and tells me I’m too tired to do anything but sleep or sit, and because I do nothing I get depressed, which causes me to eat unhealthily, which causes me to be overweight, and the cycle continues. I want to break this cycle and have the energy needed to do God’s will in my life.
I would never say that my physical shape is more important than my spiritual shape. Paul warns against this in 1 Timothy 4:8:
“Physical exercise has some value, but spiritual exercise is much more important, for it promises a reward in both this life and the next” (NLT).
I do not think Paul is telling us that exercise is not important. He is telling us that physical exercise is not as important as exercising our faith, since physical exercise brings a reward only for this life on Earth.
I get up almost every morning at 5ish to do a devotional, but I found that when I am not exercising, I struggle to get up and spend time with God. So, I think that finding a balance between the two is vital, and I need to constantly remind myself that I am not exercising for the world, since “charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord with be greatly praised (Proverbs 31:30,NLT). But I am exercising for God, since our bodies are a temple not for ourselves but for the Holy Spirit within us.
“Or don’t you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20, NLT)
I may not be pretty out there, but I hope that eventually I might get the hang of this running thing and get both my body and spirit whipped into shape!