I didn’t go to church today

I didn’t go to church today but instead I went to the gym. I didn’t recite any prayers or sing songs of worship. But I pushed the barbell, I pulled the weights and ran on the treadmill. I sweat and pushed through the pain all for the glory of God. That was my worship, because my body is my temple.

“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:19–20

Your body really is a gift from God and your health the greatest blessing of all. If we could remember every day that at any moment it could all be gone..by a freak accident physically handicapping us or doctor revealing that the headache you’ve been ignoring is a symptom of terminal cancer; we would love our bodies more, take care of them better and use them through exercise.

But not just out of fear of losing our health should we eat right or exercise more. There’s many reasons why you should exercise and use your God given physical gifts to the max. Here are mine:

Through exercise I’ve learnt how to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Many, if not all of us are lazy in some capacity or just plain out of shape and pushing ourselves to exercise pushes us out of our comfort zone. This is good. Every time I push myself to wake up early to go workout or go for a run, I learn to embrace an uncomfortable situation. During the moment, it sucks but I do it anyway because ultimately, I grow from it physically and mentally.

I say mentally because I believe I’ve developed inner strength. At some point during a marathon or any arduous physical activity you’ll want to stop, you’ll want to quit and long after your muscles have given in, its your inner strength that will keep you going. This inner strength has helped me far beyond the gym as I now strive to confront any situation in life the same way I approach my exercise, by pushing through with courage.

Exercising has taught me discipline, the kind of discipline that overlaps to other areas of your life. Working out can encourage you to eat better, organize yourself better. If it has worked for me and (I am one of the laziest bums you’ll ever meet) it will do wonders for you.

It has kept me sane, throughout my darkest times. Take care of your body and your mental health will improve, I have written about this before, your body is your mind.

Kigali Peace Marathon

It humbles you. Just last week I ran a 21k at the Kigali Peace Marathon and it was truly a humbling experience. On top of being one of the most physically demanding things I’ve ever done. I could barely keep up with all the great runners. If you don’t already exercise, once you do you’ll realize that you’ll never be the fastest or the strongest at anything. This realization not only brings you down to earth but it motivates you to get better and never be complacent.

So to you dear reader, I urge you and give you my gospel on this Sunday. Give glory to God by dedicating yourself to your health and physical fitness. Pray while you walk, meditate while you run and experience God’s presence whenever you exercise, because your body is truly a temple.