(17) She dresses herself with strength
and makes her arms strong.
Ok, who else just doesn't like exercising? Sure, you love the feeling you get afterwards, but the work you have to do to get that feeling? Just not my cuppa tea.
But why is exercising so important? Why can't I just enjoy my teen years, when my fast metabolism and growth spurts keep me from gaining TOO much weight, and worry about all that stuff when I'm thirty? I mean, sure, I might get flabby thighs, and not be able to lift heavy things or win arm wrestles when my family challenges me, but what does it really matter?
I think the answer lies not in what we think our body is to us, but what it is to God. To us, it's simply a way to move to places, to live in. It's basically a shell, like a hermit crab. We live in it for a short time, and then we die and leave it behind. Yeah, we'll try to be comfortable, because we feel the hurt when we're not, but beyond a thing for us to live in, it's not that much.
But to God, it's much, much more.
"Do you not know that your body is a temple 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 honor God with your body."
~1st Corinthians 6:19-20.
This passage states it clearly: Our body isn't ours. It's God's. It's a temple for God.
Back in the times of the Ancient Israelites, the temple was a sacred and holy place. It was kept clean, it was adorned with gold and jewels, it was a sight to behold. And only special people, the high priests, could go into certain parts of it to make sacrifices, and they were only allowed into those parts at certain times of the year. It was sacred. To them, it was a home for God.
This verse calls us to treat our bodies like the Israelites treated the temple. As a sacred place. Not ours, but God's. To treat it with care and diligence. So when we don't exercise, and neglect it, we're neglecting the temple of God. We're saying that "it's not THAT important!" We're letting the dust and cobwebs accumulate on the golden statues, the oak doors to rot away. We're saying that the price Christ had to pay for us wasn't that big of a deal. We're belittling his death.
When I realize this, I feel as though a giant gavel came down from Heaven, and flattened me like a pancake. I feel so ashamed. Sigh. Time to get those tennis shoes out, and start jogging again....