Thank God for hard work, and a healthy body.

Something we take for granted every day, is the ability that God has given us to move, breath and run. With 650 striated layers of muscle connected to our bones, we have more complexity in our muscular systems alone than many machines. Each part has to work perfectly. When a muscle is damaged, the entire body is affected by it.

I believe that Americans in particular have short changed themselves. We have no need to work hard, run very far or do especially tasking chores. Even the tougher jobs like farming, logging and mining have been made relatively easy with modern machinery. (You still don’t want to pick a fight with a farmer…they’ll knock you right into King Arthur’s court, in case you were wondering. I can’t say what the other hard workers are like. I suppose I won’t make them mad either.) We don’t really get to appreciate the massive capabilities of the bodies that God has given us.

The people who do work hard, definitely appreciate it. I hear a lot of complaints about sore backs, knees, bruised hands and the occasional kick or bite mark, but the people here feel alive. The kids in sports will somewhat be able to relate (but hopefully not with the biting bit….mostly….) as they challenge themselves and learn how to become better and better at what they do.

Yea, hard work is hard work. There are days when it’s not fun at all. But I am thankful that I have the capability to work hard. I feel satisfied after a days work when a lot of progress has been made. There is something wonderfully pleasant about falling into bed feeling sore all over and too tired to bother brushing my hair.

I think that’s what makes activities like sports, martial arts, gymnastics and whatever else so great. It brings people a challenge to better themselves, and one another. More importantly, God specifically said that the Holy Spirit dwells in us. My body was made to be a temple. That’s something that should be taken seriously. I mean, I wouldn’t let dirt accumulate on the sanctuary floor, and I wouldn’t let a bunch of birds and animals in, and I certainly wouldn’t cover it in sparkly sequins just for fun.

Yet I pretty much do whatever to my own body. Oooo, skittles!! I don’t feel like doing stretches today. I can totally chug a whole gallon of milk. Icecream? You betcha! How did I get this bruise? Well, I was sort of….ya know…I have no idea, actually. Eh, what’s a doughnut going to do in the long run? Speaking of running, maybe I’ll just go running next week. I gotta find out what happens to Thea, I don’t care if it’s eleven o clock at night. I would rather watch youtube than do this extra homework. It’s not like it’s required or anything. Hey, I only have a few hours before my siblings realize I stole their book so if I don’t finish tonight I may never see it again.

Now, I’m not saying all of those things are sinful and wrong. I don’t see anywhere in the Bible that says you can’t read fiction or eat icecream every once in a while. And for those who feel like they want a piercing or they want to cut their hair and dye it to look like flames, I have no evidence that would tell me that it is wrong.

What I don’t understand is why we don’t even think for a second about the consequences. Sure, we aren’t causing any lasting damage for the most part. But I rarely think about how amazing it is that God gave me the muscles, height, unique facial structure and skin tone that He has given me. I don’t know that I’ve ever stopped to thank Him for them. Admittedly I don’t always feel very thankful for my height (or lack thereof) but that’s an attitude problem on my part.

Consider your body to be the gift that it is. God gave it to you for a reason. Maybe it would be good to spend a little bit of time thinking about how to use it for Him. And perhaps, I should treat this gift as something to be taken care of and not just used and abused per my every whim. Of course I will still challenge myself, and that will lead to bumps and bruises and sore muscles. But from now on I want to think about the challenges I take, and whether or not they will glorify God or be respectful to what He has given me. (Milk chugging was probably not one of the challenges I should have tried.)

So today, I am thankful for the body and mind that God has given me. May I use it unto His glory.

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