Bear with me on this title. I know it conveys a very “healthy cholesterol, good cardiovascular health” connotation, and that horse has been beaten for while now, but I swear this post has something much better ahead!
I’ve said this before, and repeat it pretty regularly on my social media platforms, but I got so into physical training, weight lifting, and the whole realm of exercise science, because of something much bigger than my own physical health. Yes it has helped diminish my allergies and asthma to almost nothing, and my scoliosis isn’t nearly as much of an issue. I’m so grateful for those benefits. However, the spiritual benefits have been even better.
My connection with God has grown a great deal over the past 5 years of me training my own body. I think some of it has to do with my very conversational runs with Jesus and the opportunity to listen to worship without interruption. But as I’ve grown in my knowledge and experience, I honestly believe that, just like with many things of this earth, our bodies experience things objectively that help our souls understand spiritual concepts even better. In short-form: it becomes a GREAT metaphor with several layers that reveal a lot about us to ourselves.
If this is getting too lofty for you, don’t worry, I’ve got plenty more nutrition and workout advice to come! You can just skip this one. But the reason I love training and began Ezer Strong is because I believe this incredible physical journey is one that has impacted my spiritual journey and aided its growth in so many ways! My plan is to continue writing on these subjects periodically. Subjects such as pain, endurance, mitochondrial function etc. and how they relate to us spiritually. It’s pretty incredible! And motivating.
James 2:26 says, “For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.” This verse says so much about how we should function as followers of Christ, but it also reveals a little bit about how are built to function in the first place. Just like faith and works that come out of that faith are so closely tied, so are our bodies tied to our spirits. Perhaps it’s because we were born this way, so we’re used to our spirits being tied to our bodies. I mean, duh, right? But think about it this way. When we’re depressed, scientists would describe the phenomenon at hand as an overproduction of certain hormones in the brain. But spiritually we FEEEEEEL the effects of depression. See what I’m talking about?
There’s a reason God gave our spirits bodies to dwell in, and there’s a reason He so beautifully and intricately designed our bodies the way He did. It’s just another tool to allow the opportunity for Him to get closer to us.
When I was young, I first heard about the idea that worship is just more than singing a song and lifting your hands in praise. Worship can be done all throughout the day in every act, which is why we should always give our best effort in everything we do as though we are doing it for Him. (Col. 3:23).
By the time I became an adult with a busy schedule, I struggled to find time to not only work out consistently, but I also struggled to set aside time with Jesus. But one day it dawned on me that if I put together a worship playlist and listened to that while I ran, I’d have plenty of time to worship Him with my running (and occasional singing), and have time to pray.
Over time, I began to notice that my physical performance actually increased dramatically, and I honestly began to see myself and my body in a whole new light. No longer was I weakling that barely gave Jesus any of her time, but I had become this fit machine that walked in truth and with the Spirit everyday. All of that happened just by turning my training time into worship time.
The point is this: God’s always looking for ways to get through to us. I believe that when He created the earth, He was also thinking ahead of ways to romance each of our hearts, so He created those means too. In my case, I discovered this avenue and it has taught me in so many ways how to give my best effort, how to purify my heart, how to love myself and how to see myself as Jesus sees me. And He sees me as His mighty, lovely, strong, courageous servant.
When I titled this blog Healthy Heart, I wished I had different words, but there really is no way to describe all of this in a an accurate way without using a million words. With that being said, I hope you’ll join me in this Healthy Heart series! I can’t wait to share with you some of the coolest facts I learned, tips I have on overcoming things in the physical and in the spiritual, and so much more!
Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day, and remember that His love for you is vast beyond comprehension!