Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Spiritual Impact of Healthy Living

Last night as I was driving my son, Ben, home from basketball practice we shared some great conversation over his favorite topic of sports.  We talked about everything from his favorite NBA players to the hope of going to a K-State game sometime this winter.  Our conversation soon fell into deeper matter as we began connecting athletics to the spiritual life, to strength of character, teamwork and family unity.

Just before pulling into our driveway I turned to Ben and said, "No matter what athletic endeavor you take on, you need to know what your purpose is in going after it." He immediately followed my question with his own question, "Why are you training for a marathon, mom? Why do you want to run so far??"

I love it when Providence lines things up in your life like a series of dots for you to connect in relation to a prayer, a scripture, or a thought process.  Long before Ben ever asked that question of me, I had pondered it within my own heart.  Ever since I was 19 and diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, I've been trying to beat it. Trying to trump the odds of never being able to do such things as run a marathon.  I knew from an early age that I wanted to discover God's purpose for my life and fulfill His mission with zeal, and I wasn't about to let an illness get in the way - not if there was something I could do to help it.

And, there was.  I soon learned that I could eat better, exercise smarter, stretch often, breathe deeply, sleep well and continue to pray.  All of these things have kept me on a (mostly) solid track of healthy living - I'm managing the Fibromyalgia instead of it managing me.  For many Christians, we strive for the strength of health and fitness of our souls - which of course is priority - but often fail to acknowledge the importance of healthy living physically, attending to our bodies for the sake of keeping our temple strong for the service of which God has called us to.
After my conversation with Ben, I decided to search for a few encouraging podcasts that I could listen to on my long runs.  The first option that came up on I-tunes under "Focus on the Family" was a two-part series on the Spiritual Impact of Healthy Living by Gary Thomas.  BINGO! I have listened to both interviews, and they are truly insightful and encouraging.  One of the quotes that I took away from his first interview was inspired by the scripture from 1 Corinthians 6: 19-20:

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the 
Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God?
You are not your own; you were bought with a price.
So, glorify God in your body.

From this text, Gary was inspired to share the reality that our bodies are meant to be an instrument for the Lord, not an ornament for the Lord.  I would like to take it a step further and say that our bodies are an instrument for the Lord, not an ornament for the world.  Wouldn't this be an perfect teaching tool for young people, especially girls, who diet and exercise to please others, who want to look a particular way in order to garner attention?

I hope you will take the time to listen to both of these radio programs. They really are insightful and motivational!  If you have an i-tunes account, you can also find them in the podcast section under "Focus on the Family."

Rarely do the pages of this blog connect in topic matter, but this week, I'm happy to say that the Health & Fitness page and this, the Faith page are definitely in sync. I invite you to head over to the Health & Fitness page for a little more encouragement! There you will find a list of tips on how to get started moving in the direction toward a healthier way of life.  May your journey to good health and fitness be blessed!


  1. So true! Thanks for sharing the links. I will have to listen to them.

  2. Awesome insight, and I love your desire to move forward and not let fibromyalgia define you!

  3. Thank you for sharing this and linking up to the Focus on the Family broadcasts. I'm listening to them right now!


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