But can it also be applied to our Faith?
I am participating in a group called Faith & Fitness Inspired that I'm really excited about because, believe it or not, faith and fitness actually go really good together!! I find that some of the best times for me to spend time with God are when I'm out on a run...when I'm at peace in the world and enjoying His creation; I can turn it all off and leave my worries on the pavement. Words flow from a different place when I'm running because it is the base thoughts...I can't put together a structured prayer, but my heart can speak for me instead and that's prayer in its purest form, really. In my opinion anyways!
At any rate, I'll be doing some faith inspired posts so if you're not interested in reading it, go ahead and skip. I won't be offended. Promise! I'll include the FFInspired in the title so you can use that as your guide if you aren't interested.
But if you're interested in learning more, check out the Facebook page here.
So the question this month is "Does God care what I put in my body?" I've done a lot of thinking on this my entire life really because I've mentioned before that I was raised a Mormon, although I am no longer and consider myself simply a non-denominational Christian, and how you treat your body is a major component for Mormons. Many people are familiar with Mormons primarily because they don't drink alcohol, caffeine (supposedly anyway even though it seems like a majority now drink Coke and other caffeinated drinks), or smoke. Additionally, they wear modest clothes such as no tank tops, no bikinis, etc. So I grew up knowing that my body "is a temple" and when you think of it that way, I guess God would care what I put in it? Right?
HOWEVER, here is where I think that it really starts to make a difference in what we put in our bodies. For me, there are two really big ways that what we put into our bodies makes a difference to God.
To Fill HolesWhen we start using food or drink (or in some cases, drugs) to fill empty places instead of using God to fill those empty places we have a real big problem. I kind of picture this in my head: You build a temple as a place of worship for your community but then you fill it with so much furniture there isn't room for even a single worshiper to enter. You have used that furniture as a barrier instead of using your temple for its intended purpose. We are a society of emotional eaters, there isn't any way around this. Stressed? EAT! Happy? EAT! Frustrated? EAT! Sad? EAT! Sometimes when we have those feelings, especially the ones like stress, sadness, frustration, emptiness, instead of eating - even if it is the healthiest food in the world - what we really need to do is figure out what is making us feel hurt and empty and turn to God to fill that gap. Food is a temporary gap-filler, but God can give us a permanent one!
Eating Poor "Fuel"For athletes, and as an endurance runner, I have had to truly learn what it means to fuel wisely. If you aren't replacing the carbs that you are burning through the effort of a long or hard run, you "hit the wall" or "bonk". For any non-runners, what that means is that you literally get to a place where your body just kind of shuts down or at a minimum, reduces the level of effort that it can sustain. So when I think about if I'm not fueling my life right by either eating "bad" foods, or not eating enough "good foods", then I may not have the ability to continue at the pace that is needed from God either. I may not be healthy enough to model Godly behavior for my kids and grandkids. I might not be healthy enough to be out in the world encountering others. If I am laying on the couch like a slug because I can't even muster the energy to go outside due to bad eating and unhealthy habits, then I might miss opportunities to share God's love with others. So in this case, keeping myself fueled and healthy allows me to have the energy and drive to be ready to work for God and do what he has called me to do. It is when we fill ourselves with so much bad stuff that we can't even answer the call if we wanted to that what we put in our bodies might matter to God.
So I may not abstain from caffeine or alcohol and there may not be many foods that are "off limits" in my Christian walk, but I do feel like I need to be aware of when I'm using food or drink as a barrier in my relationship with Him. And I do agree - you put garbage in and you're going to get garbage out. If I put garbage in to fill holes or to the point where I don't have the ability to do what is needed, then I truly am getting garbage out. So to honor myself and the temple I have been given, I strive to have a healthy relationship with food and that's what I think God cares about as far as what I'm putting in my body.
How about you, what are your thoughts on if God cares what you put into your body?