Thursday, July 15, 2010

How Lovely is Your Dwelling Place

tem·ple [tem-puhl] –noun "any place or object in which God dwells."

I have been trying to focus for about a year and a half now on viewing my body as a temple, trying to take my health seriously because God values my body, his creation. This has helped me make healthier choices but it still is a struggle. And with a pre-disposition to being overweight and a propensity for eating too much....heck, lets not mince words, it's a food addiction, it's not just quantity, it's quality, it's frequency, it's a problem! So yeah, even now that I'm getting better at keeping weight off, and even losing, there are times I stuff myself without a consideration for my body as God's dwelling place.

At first I thought, how do I treat my home, the place I have to dwell. I make it pretty, I keep it tidy and mostly clean, but even then, comfort takes precidence. It's not exactly the standards I should use for God's 'home away from home'. Then I just so happened to hear/read (I can't remember which...oh this age thing is sometimes not fun!) about some temple laws, the sacredness they demand be honored. For example, where visitors are required to remove any footware upon entry, keeping both hands folded together, certain clothing requirements/restrictions such as wearing head coverings, walking clock-wise, recitations, completing a cleanse, can not be inebriated or intoxicated, abiding by purity laws, etc. Anything else would defile and/or disrespect the Lord of the manor.

It really does make me think...why DON'T I think MORE about it? About what I let enter my body, how I treat my body. I don't think I respect my temple very much, and I wonder if that has as much impact externally as internally, after all I'm not really creating optimal conditions for my own worship and glorifying God when I pre-occupy my mind with food addiction and lazyness, and then guilt for not 'being able' to control my weight. It's a double-diss, dishonouring the physical wholeness he's tried to give me, and as a result my self-induced struggle has caused a block in my spiritual wholeness as well, dishonouring the relationship he's tried to give me as well.

There is a risk I could get legalistic with this, it sure would make it easier if I could just say I'm cutting out everything unhealthy forever instead of having to try and figure out in each moment if my choice is building or destroying my temple. Except for the fact I'm human and I am part of the fall that has made living completely by law impossible. I have to allow myself some grace or I will fail anyway. There is a time for everything, as Ecclesiastes 3 says....and it also says (v13) "That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil—this is the gift of God." So there will be times God is gifting me the satisfaction of enjoying food, I think the key is to remember it's a gift and not a right. I've been at this realization before, and I'm StILL failing, but if there is one thing I've learned from past mistakes it is this, I'm likely going to keep failing but if I continue to give myself the grace God's afforded me I can return to abiding in his truth a lot faster than before.

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