If you take a moment to daydream about the differences between our lives today and our grandparents or great-grandparents lives years ago, you’ll identify some drastic change. It really is mind-boggling.
I love the efficiency, productivity and value that technology brings to my life today. However, for most of us the gift of technology has created a daily routine which repeatedly places us in a comfortable chair sitting in front of a screen for 8-10 hours each day (at a minimum).
The gift of technology has not only changed our work in dramatic ways but it has changed the way we spend our time away from work as well. Whether sports, movies, reality television, or the latest Disney hit on replay, we spend so much of our time sitting in front of a screen. Oh, and don’t forget that little screen that once was only for phone calls but now provides all sorts of games and social stalking.
Today, our lives are sedentary. We have become a motionless people. When we are in motion we have some nifty piece of technology (i.e. an automobile) moving us around thus making us in motion while still truly motionless.
Our lifestyles have become so removed from the balance in which God created. The balance between our physical and spiritual health has suffered a slow but undeniable erosion over many years.
When we look back at the Garden and how our God created the beauty and balance of life there, we see a few basic ideas. First, and most important, God had a personal and intimate relationship with His people. Also, he created a lifestyle that was significantly marked by physical activity. This has great meaning for us because Eden represents a picture of God’s intended balance within a holistic approach to spiritual living which includes physical activity.
In our 21st century ‘church-think’ we have created a false dichotomy between spiritual health and physical health. These two were not meant to be mutually exclusive.
The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. (Genesis 2:15 ESV)
If sinless Eden brought a balance of physical activity as a necessary part of spiritual intimacy and we know that our ultimate hope resides in the return to an edenic state upon Christ’s return, then we must see the inseparability between so called spiritual health and physical health.
This does NOT mean that if you love Jesus you need to run marathons or be an elite athlete. However, it does mean that our spiritual health will be anemic at the exclusion of healthy physical activity.
The skyward reaching wall between the sacred and the secular has eclipsed the God-designed inseparability between our spiritual health and our physical health. What if we began taking steps to bring this erroneous and spiritually damaging wall down, brick by brick?
It would be a significant start to simply come to the understanding and conviction that our spiritual health and the stewardship of our physical health are not compartmentalized areas of our life.
What are some practical ways in which we can glorify our God in continued spiritual growth through an appropriate stewardship of our physical health?