Bodily training is valuable, but…

A rather disturbing question came to mind yesterday: Why are we willing to suffer hardship for physical health, but take the easy path for spiritual health? As I think about this question Monday morning, I do not have an answer. But I do not think I need an answer. What I need is recognition of the truth: I am willing to suffer for physical health, but not for spiritual health.

First, there is physical health…

Nearly every day, I am involved in some sort of research (not the lofty kind) about physical health. I read blogs, scan books, and skim articles. I put the pieces together with knowledge of my own bodily functioning and design processes for myself.

These processes take the form of quasi-experiments. I mess with my macro-balance, supplementation, and exercise. I take note of how I feel and what changes have occurred, adjusting the processes accordingly.

In all this, I have disciplined myself, changing my eating habits, walking every day, strength training every week. I am going to be earlier. I am taking recommended supplements.

I evaluate my physical health, measuring blood lipids each month and blood glucose after meals. I grab the calipers once a while and measure my percent of body fat. I weigh now and then. I measure my waist and other markers monthly. I look forward to the times with I must add a new hole to my belt.

I share the processes and findings with friends who are also interested in physical health. I have begun dialoguing on PaleoHack and I continue chatting on Twitter (when I remember). I have face-to-face dialogue with like-minded friends Sunday mornings and Tuesday evenings (before Bible Study).

Then there is spiritual health…

Research is minimal and what is there tends to be quick and easy. There is very little experimentation: non-existent may be a better designation. Honestly, I am not sure what spiritual experimentation would entail.

Fellowship is present, but it is not what it could be for it is insufficiently Christ-centered.

I practice some disciplines, listening to the study passage as I wake and study-listening (with the written text in hand) twice a week, but there is little time for thought or dialogue with God.

As for evaluation, the Scripture notes character, love for Christian siblings, service, and attitude, and I know these, but as for actual evaluation—examining my “numbers”—little if anything is done.


This morning, on the bus, I read the first chapter of Bonhoeffer’s Life Together.  Reading his passionate description of true community among Christian siblings shamed me, for I fear I have participated in conjuring up a wish-dream of community and have fostered the separation of body and soul rather than its integration.  May God and my fellows forgive me.

Now, to my fellows, I put the question:

Why are we willing to suffer hardship for physical health, but take the easy path for spiritual health?


About Laura

My name is Laura and I am on a journey, pondering the implications of God's glorious design of humanity and integrating every aspects of this design into a description of whole life health.
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