*This week’s post will be in lieu of the CORErecovery and FAITHful Fitness Friday. I hope you will find that the topic is relevant to where ever you are and wherever you are trying to get to….either way, we must keep moving!
“we know that when these bodies of ours are taken down like tents and folded away, they will be replaced by resurrection bodies in heaven—God-made, not handmade—and we’ll never have to relocate our “tents” again. Sometimes we can hardly wait to move—and so we cry out in frustration.” from 2 Corinthians 5 (The Message paraphrase)
I am having one of those days today, you know the kind….I am just not “myself” today. My body feels heavy, I am slow, I can’t think clearly. Have you ever felt this way? Like you are walking through quicksand…with lead boots? In my own life, I have discovered that there are a few things that get me into this feeling that I just can’t move. Sometimes it happens after completing a really tough activity (see posts on triathlon and Mountain climbing!) , sometimes it happens when I have been not doing enough activity. Other times, my physical body seems to be reacting to emotional situations that seem to stop me in my tracks. Over the few years I have dealt with several of these types of “life stopping” events, in my own family and in the families of friends.
When this happens, I feel like I will never be able to move again. I am blindsided by physical or emotional stress, even pain. I am frozen in my own body, wanting to move, to get on with things, yet it is a struggle. When I am emotionally weighed down, my body feels physically weighed down. I used to be convinced that my body had actually gained several pounds overnight. In recovery, I had to learn that sometimes that “heavy” feeling wasn’t in my physical body, it was in my spiritual one. The pain I experienced sometimes in this was an indicator that I was trying to “carry” something that was too much for me.
There is a lot of stuff out there telling us that we should work on being comfortable in our bodies, content with the way they are. I do not disagree with this, but I have been thinking about this in the context of today’s verse. Another translation puts it like this:
“Our bodies are like tents that we live in here on earth. But when these tents are destroyed, we know that God will give each of us a place to live. These homes will not be buildings that someone has made, but they are in heaven and will last forever. While we are here on earth, we sigh because we want to live in that heavenly home.” (2 Corinthians 5:1-3)
Looking at this verse, I see that these bodies of ours are just temporary shelters for “us.” This means that “we” are not our bodies, but we are what is inside…our hearts, our souls, our minds. Yes, how we take care of the outside is important in that it helps protect us and gives us a place to live, and move, while we are here on earth. But these shelters will be destroyed, they are not permanent dwelling places for us. Perhaps that is why we sometimes feel like we are “not ourselves”…or is the “self” that is within us uncomfortable by our efforts to make our bodies into “our selves”? When my inner self, my heart, soul, and mind, becomes uncomfortable, is it because I have stressed the “tent” to the limit with over activity? Is it because I have not set it up and cared for it properly? Is it because the things inside, my heart and mind, are holding on to too much, stretching my body too far…giving it too much to hold? I believe it can be any or all of these things.
As we try to learn to care for our physical bodies, we must keep in mind that it is temporary, but what is inside, the heart, soul and mind…our true selves, will go to live in a new body one day. It will be these things we must “move” to the next home. How well are we caring for these things? As we consider our physical bodies, let us keep the mindset that the care of them is necessary but not the ultimate goal. These “tents” of ours need shelter us for a while, but our souls will move on to live in the forever home that God is preparing for us.
When I think about this, I am able to move my physical body so that my spiritual one can move toward Christ. My physical body is here to help me be “in a place”, ready to move when God calls me to do so. I must make sure that I have not over exerted doing things He has not asked of me, nor have I sat idle allowing my “tent” to be weathered and stiffened. I must make sure also, that I have not loaded myself internally with the things of this world, placing undue stress both on my “self” and my body.
Often in life there will be things that make us cry out in frustration. Our physical bodies may not perform as we expect, our families and friends might disappoint or hurt us. We might blame our physical body for our inability to move…through recovery, through a fitness plan, through life. But ultimately it is within each of us, the call to want more than we have physically and spiritually. We are uncomfortable here because we were made for more than this!!
What ever is keeping you from moving, choose today to move anyway.
Move away from your sin, your eating disorder, your bad habits….move toward healthy decisions and lifestyle choices.
Move away from inactivity and into a fitness routine that is strengthening and endurance-building.
Move away from exercise that harms your body, that exhausts you, and move toward training for balance, flexibility, and overall health.
Move away from the people whose words are used to destroy, and move toward words that strengthen, guide, and build you up.
The Giver of our tents and the Creator of our eternal homes, help us to know when and how to move. Help us to remember that our physical bodies are just temporary and to be used well while we are here on earth. Keep us focused on maintaining our true selves, on training ourselves to live with you. Give us the gift of a life that moves us toward you…no matter how we feel on any given day. Help us to remember that in Your Son, Jesus, we live, and move, and have our true being. Amen.