exercise of mind, body, soul

christy and i recently joined a gym (the secret is out!!). i have joined and quit many a gym in my adult life, but so far i am sticking to this one. part of the reason for that is the church is graciously paying for my membership, as part of a church-wide effort to improve the health of pastors. i can't think of a better incentive to go work out than knowing that the dedicated members of trinity church are footing the bill!
my routine consists of lightweight training and aerobic exercise. i will soon be adding to that classes. but what i do now is pretty simple stuff. i don't want to get too heavily into it and risk injury. i also don't want to take it so easy that i get nothing out of the effort. believe me, i have been sore. and i can honestly say i feel better.
i am trying to make a decision to be more healthy. often times we make decisions knowing that they are unhealthy and unwise. i heard the legendary preacher zan holmes deliver a sermon once on this topic. he referenced specifically the problem of teen sexuality, how often times our young folk believe their bodies belong to them, therefore they can do whatever they want to with them. pastor holmes said no. how refreshing! he reminded all of us that scripture says our bodies are "temples of the Holy Spirit." how we treat them reflects how we treat God-- perhaps this is not the best subject to write about today, knowing i will soon join my friends at the ballpark for a rangers game and dollar hot dog night!
on "nightline" last night there was a story on the montana methamphetamine problem (obviously it's not just a montana issue, but they are doing more than just making it harder to buy cold medicine). you can read more about it at http://www.montanameth.org/. it is a controversial ad campaign aimed at 12-18 year-olds financed by an individual who wants to make a difference. and it is working. the images are graphic, honest, and brutal, and the message is not the "this is your brain on drugs" type that i heard when i was in that demographic. it is hard-hitting. the word has spread to other states-- don't know if texas is one of them. i do know that the last church i served was in denison, which has more than its fair share of meth problems. in fact, our church hosted an educational event for the community, which was widely attended.
God has given each of us freedom to do terrible things in the world. God hopes we will choose good, and has given us the Church, other institutions, families, and individuals to help us choose rightly. we are often bombarded with images enticing us to eat this, take that, buy something, do whatever we want, since what and who we are is completely up to us. and too often we have bought into that mentality. but it is a destructive path. whether it leads us to poor health and conditioning, destroys our ability to think clearly, causes us to steal and hurt people who love us, forces us to face all sorts of serious consequences... we have to somehow stop and remember that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit. God dwells within us. perhaps the ability to think beyond ourselves will lead us into a more healthy place, where exercise-- or, more to the point, healing-- can happen.