There’s an obsession with the outward appearance that is neighbouring on insanity. Take the weight loss craze and ‘team Natural’ euphoria – both of which I must add am a devoted life-member. I love my hair natural, it’s fuller than it has ever been but the maintenance my friend is another ball game altogether.
Let’s not even talk about the weight loss ‘program’. I find it ironic that a section of this country needs a feeding program while another percentage needs weight loss programs. Can’t we just switch sides like a volley ball game? All the people over 80 kgs be ferried to Turkana and Kilifi for three weeks, and the emaciated people of Turkana come to the big cities and get living space in all the chips and chicken dens.
The issue of weight is not a light matter, and I hope no one gets offended by my humour attempt above. I’m a victim myself, the kilos are following me like flies on trachoma. I hear wheat is bad for me, but of late all chapatis know me by my three names and they call me loudly at 1 AM. But while I will try my best to plank, and squat and drink mint leaves and cucumber water (I’m not ready for detox yet, I think I need pre-smoothies counselling first), I have been reminded of a more important exercise and I would like to throw this other challenge in the ring — Soul Exercise.
I have thought of the importance of having a great body, free from unwanted fats and flab, curvy in all the right places and what wouldn’t I give to rock that crop top! Oh, shoot! I don’t wear crop tops, so let’s go with what wouldn’t I do to just fit in my campus jeans without suffocating in the process! But I have also looked around and seen that there is little emphasis on growing our spiritual muscles and getting rid of the things that make us ineffective in our spiritual walk.
1 Timothy 4:8 says “…For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.”
This is what I would like to see more of. People encouraging and urging one another on to godliness and going at it with as much psyche and determination as shedding the kilos. And I don’t mean all those ‘type Amen’ empty promises that are aimed at threatening people with a view to generating traffic to worthless courses. When will you understand that God cannot be blackmailed into blessing you? Even if you type amen, Monday will still come after Sunday, your boss will still be a pain in all the wrong places and you will most likely still be broke on the 19th of every month!
But if you read your bible and pray every day, if you set aside a day of fasting and actually keep off food to seek God, your life will change. Because change starts on the inside. Most of us want to change the way we look so as to please our spouses and loved ones. Granted, I want my husband to be proud of me and to actually desire being seen with me on the road. Nothing wrong with that. But if I change from the inside, I will have more energy for the outside and even more beauty from deep inside.
I’m seeing a gap that is being filled by religiosity and self-appointed prophets. That gap needs to be filled by good meaning brethren who desire to see people filled with the Holy Spirit and who seek to advance the Kingdom of God to the ends of the earth. As we exercise our bodies, let us also exercise our hearts by walking with God. Grab an audio Bible on your jog and listen to the word as you walk along, let your walk with God not be affected by your walk with jog buddies.
Just like you need to tone your body muscles, your faith is also a muscle that needs to be exercised. Heart attacks also happen in the spiritual, prevent the devil from attacking your heart by having an “it is also written”.. counter-attack on the ready.
It was Billy Graham who said, “the very act of reading the Bible will have a purifying effect upon your mind and heart. Let nothing take the place of this daily exercise”
Maybe then we will actually have the discipline to eat clean and healthy. And we will have a total change of life, not just the body.
Now, bring on the smoothie!
O.k, maybe not.