Sunday, January 15, 2012

Everything's Spiritual

OK, in church on Sunday we talked about "the big three" physical disciplines. Everyone was reminded that we need to eat right, exercise enough and get a proper amount of sleep. Nothing revolutionary. We already knew this stuff. Why talk about it?

Because I think most people are like me. I'm rarely tripped up by what I don't know. I'm tripped up by not doing what I do know. Sometimes I forget, but that's not my usual problem. It's that, at the moment I need to execute the plan, I don't want to. Or at least, I don't seem to want to bad enough to actually do it.

"Do not eat that piece of pie." "Shut the book and go exercise for an hour." "Turn the television off
and go to bed now." Should be easy, right? But all too often, it's not. So I wonder, how can pastry, a book or a rerun of The Office have such power over me? How can I let them come between me and the healthy life I desire?

I came across some words of the apostle Paul, uttered 2000 years or so ago, that fit my feeling exactly: "I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing." I'm familiar with these words. But a new connection was made for me. Everything's spiritual.

What Paul was describing was "the power of the moment"; that at a point of time righteous desire can be swallowed up by lesser desire. The only way for this to be overcome was through on ongoing, vital connection with God. I knew this principle worked when it came to struggles with lust or pride or anger, but now I see that it also works when it comes to struggles with pie and exercise and going to bed.

I take better care of my body when I'm taking better care of my spirit. When I'm connecting with God I am better able to overcome the power of the moment and do the righteous thing, which includes doing the right thing with my body. It may not be quite as easy as "if you want to lose weight, read the Bible", but it's not that far off!

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