Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Meditation Day 3: The Body Temple

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Today’s Reading; Matthew 5-7

For the last several days my back has been hurting a lot. Of course much of that has to do with the fact that I work a job that has me sitting for eight hours a day. It also doesn’t help that I come home and sit for at least two more hours when I write.

But the main reason is that I haven’t been honoring my body.

You know how it goes. Life gets busy, things get stressful and you start to neglect things. Normally I work out like a fiend, but lately I haven’t had the energy. So yesterday when I got home super late after putting in extra time at work I realized that I gotta do something about this.

And then I remembered how I used to stretch as a form of meditation.

Stretching is very important to me. Since grew up playing basketball my body was trained to be more explosive than flexible. When I made the change from basketball to capoeira my lack of flexibility was painfully exposed.

Over the past three years or so, as I became more serious about my faith, I also became much more serious about my health. To me they go hand in hand. If the body is a temple then of course we should not only keep the temple clean but we should also improve it right? What good is a clean temple if it cannot withstand the earthquakes of life? As we prepare ourselves to fulfill the huge purposes that God has for our lives we have to not only be mentally and spiritually ready, but also physically ready.

Yesterday I realized how much I had fallen off on the physical part, so after I got home and ate I decided to get my stretch on (If you have never stretched in a focused, organized way I suggest you pick up this book. It is a great resource). After the first fifteen minutes of stretching my hips, legs and back I felt brand new. I felt my blood flowing much more freely in my body. I could feel different muscles in my body waking up. My body was smiling.

Christianity, as it was taught to me growing up, focuses a lot on our bodies in relation to sin; especially sexual sin. While it is important to make sure that we honor ourselves with the choices that we make with our sexuality I find it sad that we tend to get stuck here on the negative. Why don’t we discuss having a positive relationship with our bodies in other ways: good diet, exercise, sleep, and balance? Why isn’t this part of the fabric of our faith?

Part of this is because Christianity made a pretty serious departure from living by laws. As Paul said, all things are permissible but not all things are beneficial.

But as Jesus said he didn’t come to destroy the law but to fulfill it. Maybe things like the kosher rules do not technically apply to our faith but we can learn something from them.

I think it is time that we take a serious look at ourselves and our community and figure out how to right some of these obvious imbalances. Let’s look at how we treat our bodies. Let’s look at the extra weight that we carry every single day. What are we eating? What does this do to our hearts? How does this affect our fatigue? And most importantly, how does this affect our ability to do what God wants us to do with out lives?

This week I realized that my failure to properly honor my body from a fitness stand point had a huge effect on my energy and my focus. It seriously impacted my ability to meditate and focus on God which is the purpose of this week for me!

Step your game up Clarence…

But yesterday was the beginning of turning that around. As I focused on honoring my temple I could see more clearly that God was there inside as He always is.

Question of the day: What can you do to improve your relationship with your body and your physical health?

My Challenge to you: Find a physical activity that you enjoy. Maybe it is running, or yoga, or capoeira like it is for me. Try something new!!! Not only will this be great for your body but it will get you out into the world and expose you to new people and ideas. If you try something new and don’t like it try something else. If you try something new and do like it, keep exploring! Don’t quit until you find a sport or discipline that you ENJOY. Find more than one if you can. Diversity is the spice of life. Exercising shouldn’t be a chore. It should be a challenge that your mind, body, and spirit enjoy.

Breakfast: 3 Scrambled Eggs
Snack: Nuts
Lunch: Mediterranean Chicken Salad
Dinner: Albacore Tuna Steak and CHICKEN

Beverage of the Day: Water

Clearly I need more veggies. I also discovered that I CAN eat fruit but it just can’t be citrus. I need to  make sure of that before I go crazy. Also I need to bring rice into the game. I was entirely too hungry yesterday.

Meditation week continues…

1 comment:

  1. Day 3 was really good. I absolutely agree, the body is a reflection of our choices whether good or bad.

    I accept your challenge. :)-

    There are two things I'm interested in trying, and why not now.

    I did protein all day and lots of water.

    I thinks its time to change it up since I'm adding a work out.



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