Psalm 139:14 ‘I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well’
I remember the sense of wonder my infant children had as they were discovering fingers and toes. I then recall seeing that sense of amazement start to dampen as they grew and matured into adulthood. I think it is important that we not lose that sense of awe in our bodies. Is it not miraculous what our eyes can do… what our ears and noses can do? It is amazing what our hearts do every day, not to mention the mass of neurons between our ears pulsing with electrical energy, that we call brains. Our brains are able to operate all of our various systems and organs in the background while allowing us to move our mouths and limbs in amazing, sometimes even annoying ways. If you drill down into the very makeup and nature of our bodies, you discover miracle after miracle from the way that cells divide in the womb to form an embryo, to how the nerves and vessels are laid down, to how our noses and ears keep growing long after most of our other body parts have stopped. Our Creator shows astonishing attention to detail (and perhaps a sense of humor with some of us).
It takes effort to properly care for our bodies but it is important that we do so because in essence, these bodies are not really ours to do with as we wish; our bodies belong to God. God provided these bodies as a vessel to carry our souls through life. We must be good stewards of this gift and eat wisely, exercise and respect this gift in every way. This is not about worshiping the body but it is about understanding that God created the body as a home for the soul and gave each of us the responsibility to care for it.
Good health is not simply a physical body that works well. Good health is a healthy soul in a healthy body. Just as the body is nourished by certain foods, the soul needs spiritual nourishment. Our awareness of God must be nourished with activities such as study, prayer and virtuous acts to help the soul connect with God. A healthy soul is necessary for a healthy body and a healthy body is necessary for a healthy soul. I find that when I am able to keep that sense of wonder alive, the struggle to nurture my body can seem almost effortless. Thank you Lord for the gift of our bodies and the amazing wonders before us and within us.