Many of us take our health for granted. We think we are healthy simply because we feel fine and seldom see a doctor.
So we imagine it is not crucial for us to exercise regularly. Physical exercise remains low in our daily agenda, especially in our hectic workaday life.
And taking the path of downsizing our workout and upsizing our diet, we eventually reach a point when we not only lose our waistline but also our health. We then discover bit too late that it is easier to maintain our health than to try to get it back.
A friend who shares the same hobby gave me a beautiful Koi (Japanese carp). It is one that won a Koi Show tournament. It is a valuable gift. He even gave me the huge trophy cup together with the Koi.
Now when you are given such a valuable Koi you want to take care of it meticulously. You don’t feed it with low-grade food. You give it sufficient space. You create good aeration and water turbulence to encourage it to swim and not stay motionless at the bottom of the pond. Koi can become sick and pot-belied when it is not active.
Just so God has given us a body as valuable as this award winning Koi.
“Do you not know that your bodies are temples 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 honour God with your bodies” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
We honour God by taking care of our bodies. We need to treasure it, harness it and “discipline my body and keep it under control” (I Corinthians 9:27 ESV).
I discovered that when I keep up with my workout in the gym and run in the nature trials:
- My pants don’t feel uncomfortable.
- I feel more relax.
- I sleep better.
- I think clearer.
- I work faster.
- I have more energy for my pastoral work.
- I set good example for my children of this slothful generation who exercise only their fingers and thumbs on their mobiles.
No wonder the Scripture tells us, “bodily training is of some value” (I Timothy 4:8).
For that I shall upsize my workout and downsize my diet. I will take the stairs rather than the elevator. I will halve the portion of my dinner plate. I will run and thank God for good legs. I will stretch and thank God that my heart is still pumping and my lungs are still working.
Borrowing the words of Eric Liddell, the Olympic sprinter and Christian missionary, “When I run (or exercise), I feel God’s pleasure.”