I was having a conversation with someone the other day. She does yoga and she was telling me how I should go and try it out. It sounds interesting, but in all honesty, I am not a Zen, clear your mind, and meditate kind of person. Anyway, she was telling me that the instructors teach you to thank your body. They say you should thank your body for all the things it allows you to do. Let me make this clear: I appreciate all the things my body can do, but I don’t thank my body for allowing me to do them, and I never will.
To clarify, I’m good to my body. I feed it nutritious food, take care of it, get the sleep I need, and get massages now and then. But my body doesn’t thank me back. Why? The body is just flesh. It’s dead without the spirit. In Genesis, God spoke EVERYTHING into existence, except one thing: Adam. Adam was special. God FORMED him from the dust of the earth like a potter would form and mold clay. But after God formed Adam, his lifeless body was laying there on the ground. There was no thinking, no breathing, no nothing! And then God did something that brought life to Adam’s lifeless body: He breathed life (a soul) into Adam and he became a living being.
We are more than just the physical. I will say this often, until you are convinced that we have to give as much attention to our spiritual man as we do our physical. Our bodies are what our soul abides in. Our bodies are temporary and as depressing as it may sound, Paul says in 2 Corinthians 4:16 that, “outwardly (physically) we are wasting away, yet inwardly (our soul) we are being renewed day by day”….IF we are allowing God to work on us. So what am I trying to say? Let me tell you what I’m not saying: I’m not telling you to stop working out or eating right. I’m not telling you to stop doing your hair and putting on makeup. If you’re a guy, I’m not telling you to stop shaving (unless you’re doing the beard thing), or to stop trimming your nose hairs (ok, I had to go there). Don’t even think about quitting yoga!! But I am definitely telling you to acknowledge…realize…focus on the spirit inside you that is eternal, otherwise your soul is literally starving.
Have you ever wondered what your soul would look like if you could see it in the reflection of a mirror? If our physical bodies were malnourished we would be able to see our frail, bony, emaciated bodies as a result of neglect. Do you think the spiritual is any different? If we do not take care of the one thing that lasts for an eternity and only focus on the outward that is perishing, we are starving our soul. The strength of the soul effects every area of our lives: relationships, mental health, perspective, outlook on life, and the list goes on. If we only focus on the physical, we are literally no different than Adam’s lifeless body as it lay on the earth waiting for God to breathe life into him. This may sound dramatic, but James tells us in 2:26, “The body without the soul is dead.” Do you ever wonder why the most beautiful, successful and in shape people seem to be so unhappy? There’s no investment into the soul.
So there you have it! I will never thank my body for all it can and does do. It really only houses the most important part of me; the most valuable part of me: my soul. Not only that, the same God who breathed life into Adam also gave me life and He is the reason I move. Paul says, “In Him we live, and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). If I’m going to thank anyone for the things I can do, I will thank God, and I do. I thank Him not only for my body, but for saving my soul so that I will live with Him in eternity. I thank Him because I have life and I have purpose. In as much as I love working out and eating right, I also love knowing that this body is a place where the Spirit of God dwells. That’s why I take care of it… OK… let’s be real … I also want to look good!! There, I said it! Feel better about yourselves because I’m human too. So yes, I’ll go to yoga, but I’ll thank God for every downward dog I do because in Him I live and move and have my existence.