I went for a bike ride yesterday morning. The sun was still kinda low, and the breeze was comfortable – not too hot and not too cold. The perfect time for a ride. Everything we’ve heard about endorphins, exercise, and the mind-body connection seem especially true on a day like that.
Bike riding helps me to keep my sanity. The exercise loosens stiff joints, works lazy muscles, and clears my mind. The opportunity to be outside, in the midst of whatever weather conditions I encounter, helps me hone my problem solving skills. The time away from people (except the cars around me), computers, phones, and paperwork helps me to see priorities, discover insights, and make plans in a way very different than any other time of the day.
God created us with bodies. The ways we use them both show and shape our beliefs, our values, and our futures. The ways we live in and live with these bodies God has given us truly do matter. Take care of your body, for it is a gift from God. Your mind and your spirit are inexorably linked with your physical self, too. When you make time to sleep, or choose to eat well, or stretch and exercise, and in any other way treat your body with respect, you are caring for a gift and a resource that will be with you your whole life.
Take a walk. Run up the stairs. Stretch after a nap. Yell or sing. Eat delicious food. Hug a friend or loved one. Use your body in the many wonderful ways God intended – to be a blessing to both you and the world around you.
“God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good.” Genesis 1:31
God of Creation,
This body you have created and this life you have given me are both a gift.
In moments of activity and stillness, help me remember your gifts.
When I exercise and move, speak to me through muscles and lungs and action.
When I rest and sleep, touch me through renewal and rejuvenation.
Help me to choose to live in ways that value and treasure this body you have made.
Help me to see that the way I treat my own body, mind and spirit is shaping who I am, and who I will become.
Help me to make the most of the muscle and sinew, the thoughts and breath, the life that is in me.