This past week(s) of church have been particularly applicable and practical as the topics have been about things like worshiping with our time and bodies. If you've grown up in a church you've most likely heard, "your body is a temple" and thus, keep it holy (or don't have premarital sex or abstain from sexual immorality). However, as my small group discussed, keeping one's body (or the subject of "bodies" in general) healthy is not an end in itself. The focus is not to keep it holy or healthy so that we live long lives. Or to exist further or beyond others...as is so often the goal of "health" and "healthy eating", that is, to live one's life for one's life alone--to exist individually for the sake of no one else. It was a really neat thing to have the topic of discussion be something that, I feel, really is an essential element of the Christian community: to live a good, healthy life (keeping one's body healthy through exercise, food, etc etc) not to achieve the perfect body or a long life, but to live according to His Kingdom--as I've said over and over, to further His Kingdom. The Church is His body, so, as parts of his Body, shouldn't we keep ourselves well and good so as to do His work? It was brilliantly observed at small group the function as bodies of the ultimate Body of Christ-- we keep ourselves well and healthy so that when someone falls ill or is unhealthy, the others can step in and up to help. We don't have to be perfectly well to help, for in using time and our bodies, we are being well, we are giving and receiving health, i think.
I have not always practiced this. I certainly try now and I certainly fail now, but I am trying to live healthily so that I can be a good person. I have found through years of struggling with what it means to be healthy, that I am more able to love and be happy when I do things like eat well, try to buy locally, and run some but not alot. Practically speaking, I am actually able to actively love abd when I have energy which comes from diet and exercise. But I will probably always kind of want to be "healthy" so that I can fit in tiny jeans, but hopefully I will be reminded that that will only go so far, and that this will only benefit (or rather, destroy) myself. Anyways, I love my salads and clean feeling foods, but that meatloaf smells real good too... What I really hope for is to be known as the really joy-filled, hard-working, and peaceful, Brooke Forwood: wife, sister, daughter, friend, student, aunt, and someday, God-willing, mom.
this kind of thinking also always refocuses me especially when I am having one of those oh so debilitating bouts of insecurity and selfishness. I don't need new clothes or a new hair color to be (and feel) better, I probably need to go outside pick some of our squash and make some soup for my friends.
Happy first Saturday of October...geez it is so beautiful outside.
(here's Father Steve's podcast if anyone wants to listen. http://web.me.com/thetenfoldcollective/Site/Podcast/Entries/2010/9/26_Eighteenth_Sunday_After_Pentecost.html)