Mind, body, spirit…. it's all important. Healthy and whole people are interested in all three areas. But I suspect I too often take my body for granted. Oh, I eat pretty well and exercise when I can. But I'm sure I don't pay enough attention to the physical.
I can relate to one man who complained about exercise. "It's not that I am against it," he said, "it's just that when I look at my body, I feel it's already been punished enough." Even champion archer Rick McKinney – a superb athlete – confessed that he regularly ate chocolate chip cookies for breakfast. He once jokingly referred to "the basic four food groups" as a Big Mac, fries, a shake and a lemon tart.
Okay – I take a little better care of myself than that. But let me say something we all may need to hear: you have a GREAT body. Whether you look or feel all that well, your body is no less than phenomenal. Imagine -- all of this will happen to you today:
- Your heart will likely beat over 100,000 times.
- Your blood will travel about 168,000 miles.
- You will breathe about 23,000 times.
- You will drink three pounds of liquids.
- You will turn in your sleep 25-30 times (this is not counted as exercise, by the way).
- You'll probably speak about 48,000 words and use some 7,000,000 brain cells.
You see? You have a great body. It is an intricate piece of technology and a sophisticated super-computer. It runs on peanuts and even regenerates itself. Your relationship with your body is one of the most important relationships you'll ever have. And since repairs are expensive and spare parts are hard to come by, it pays to make that relationship good.
How do you maintain a good relationship with your body? By following the things you already know about healthy relationships.
For one, you know that good relationships are built on listening. Do you listen attentively to your body? Really listen? It may be trying to tell you something.
Second, you know that understanding is at the heart of good relationships. Do you try to learn and understand what your body needs? You wouldn't hurt a good friend; do you know when you're hurting yourself?
Good relationships are also built on kindness. Are you kind to your body without overly-indulging? Do you know that saying "no" may be a kind thing to do? Are you tough enough to know when to push and wise enough to know when to back off?
And finally, you already know that good relationships thrive on respect and trust. Do you show respect or do you show dishonor by the things you put in it and on it and the way you treat it? Do you trust it to be faithful to you as you're faithful to it?
One of your most important relationships is that with your body. It's a relationship you'll have for the rest of your life, so it's one you will want to nurture.
Take good care of it – you have a great body.