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Still Biking

The air was so thick and heavy today I didn’t know if I could do it, but I climbed on my faithful bike, and away we went into the soupy mixture of July humidity. Hard to breathe when the air feels like you could almost drink it and I’ve never figured out how to breathe under water.

But I kept pressing into it, pumping the pedals up and down while my lungs tried to filter through the soup to find some air. I love mountain biking, but I really love it when it’s cool and the air is crisp. My favorite time to ride is fall . . . summer is my least. I hate riding in the heat.

Even though I say I “love” mountain biking, I need to clarify. I don’t usually “love” it before I get on the bike. Usually I have to make myself do it. Once I get started, I love it. But I really don’t want to climb onto the bike naturally.

But I keep pressing into it.

Why? Why do I leave the house sometimes before the sun rises to do another ride?

What does it really matter?

Because I’m not my own. My body is God’s temple.

Now please understand, I HATE exercise.  

I ran into my junior high school gym teacher recently. She still remembers me. I think I know why. She knew how “fond” I was of third period—gym class. (I hope you caught the sarcasm in that statement, because it was definitely there!) She probably never saw a more uncoordinated girl in her life. She could tell I’d rather read a book than get involved in the volleyball game.

I hate exercise but I love God’s glory more.

And they may not seem like it, but they are intertwined.

I don’t like that they are intertwined, but they are.

Being a good steward of my physical body through healthy eating and exercise, when done as an act of submission and obedience, glorifies my Creator.

[box]“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31)[/box]

My natural inclination is to veg-out on the couch with a good book, but if I stay on the couch for the rest of my life, eventually my muscles will atrophy! Our bodies are healthiest when used. I mean, it’s a no-brainer, every medical website and physician stresses: Eat right and exercise!

(I keep hoping they’ll change that to: “EAT MORE CHOCOLATE!! And get some rest!”) 

On days when I want to stay on the couch, want to skip the ride, or just chunk the whole exercise thing . . . if I remind myself that I’m not doing this for fun . . . I’m biking for God’s glory, then I have the motivation I need to get back out there and glorify God in my body.

[box]“For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.” (1 Corinthians 6:20)[/box]

Do I always bike when I should?  

No.

Do I always glorify God in my body?  

No.

But I am thankful that He gives the opportunity to demonstrate my love for Him in ways as simple and small as a bike ride for His glory. And I’m thankful for His mercy and grace when I opt out. But I’d much rather love him well than veg-out on the couch.

How about you?

How are you glorifying God in your body today?

6 Comments

  • Tambra Lucas

    Well Kim.. Wish I had a bike I would to ride with you! No fair!!
    Yes exercise is tough but it is a God given remedy for many illnesses, verses UNNEEDED MEDICATION! If people would commit to exercise they would find themselves taking less medicine. Of course there are certain medical conditions that medicine is absolutely necessary.(Not to offend):)

    I actually love exercise for many reasons. For one my mind is constantly flooded with thoughts of what I have to do in a day and it can become very stressful if I do not find time to refresh it. If my mind is not cleared and refreshed I cannot focus on God or His Word, So I have to take out time in the mornings to run a while, walk a while and run a while for 3 miles. I have to do this outdoors , I have been to gyms but I don’t like them, I have a hard time focusing around so many people, and can’t think about God with weights banging around me, and it does not feel refreshing to me. I mean who wants to breathe in body odor, smell sweat, hear banging weights, touching germy equipment and have people looking at you! I’ve got to have the outdoors I need breathing room, but each to their own, wherever it may be exercise is good.

    Running hills is my favorite thing to do, it burns so much fat, calories and actually gives you energy and takes your mind off the things of the world because you are pushing yourself to make it over that next hill or run that next stretch. I love the outdoors and I have found this to be the perfect time to talk to God it is the most exhilarating feeling because my mind is refreshed and breathing in fresh air from outside keeps me from feeling lethargic and besides that, wherever your destination is, its a planned course you can’t quit in 10 min. like you could at the gym because you are not finished until you get back to the starting point of your course, unless you want to sit on the side of the road and use your cell phone for someone to come pick you up and take you back to your vehicle, Ha Ha!
    So I look forward to the time of exercise to talk to God. And also I sometimes have others go with me, and we talk about our Savior, that is so good also. Then when I get back home I can pick up bible with a clear mind and better understanding after my mind has been awakened and refreshed. I have made this a lifetime commitment, this is the only way to stay in shape and glorify God with the temple He has given us in a natural God given way!! Learn to love exercise by seeing it as your morning appointment with God!

  • Sandra Sessink

    Thank you for this reminder that faithful and proper stewardship of my body brings glory to my God. Thank you also for the reminder that the purpose of all that we do is to be Him-centered rather than me-centered. I hate exercise – and especially sweating – but the discipline of exercise has an entirely different appeal when the motivation is stewardship of my body for His glory, rather than for the molding of my body to conform to the beauty standards of the western world.

    I know you would agree, however, that there are actually times when physical rest is what He desires in His children. I remember a time when Christ invited his disciples to “come apart and rest a while.” And then, of course, there’s the issue of the Sabbath (though I’m only beginning to learn about that)

    About two years ago, during a difficult transition time, God gifted me with an unexpected day of rest. I had traveled and stayed overnight in a guesthouse. Before checkout the next morning, I became so ill that it was impossible to continue my travels and was forced to stay another day. That day of rest, mingled with sleep, reading, and just listening to the rain, was such a precious gift from my Father and a preparation time for what was ahead. Because I was still and without distraction, my heart could hear His comforting words. The work He did in my heart that day has carried me through the last two (often difficult) years. That day is a marker in my walk with Him and during the difficulties I’ve often returned in my mind to His tenderness that day and to the commitments made then.

    Lately, I have been sensing Him inviting me to scheduled rest, and am grateful for a few hours of scheduled stillness recently where I could sleep, read, pray, and reflect. I am so thankful for those times of restoration that enable me to love Him better during the more strenuous times.

    When I read your stuff, I always walk away wanting to love Him more. Thank you for that, Kim.

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Hello Tambra ~

    Thanks for sharing. I’m so glad you’re able to get in that special time with the Lord every day. Your comment may encourage some “couch potatoes” to give that early morning run a try!

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Hello Sandra ~

    So good to hear from you! I agree completely that we need a proper balance of rest and exercise. Sometimes the wisest thing you can do is slow down and take a nap!

    Thank you for sharing about your day when God brought you to a standstill to have that sweet encounter with Him. I remember that day, and so thankful that He used it for His redemptive purposes.

    Thank you for your kind words . . . no more precious thing could anyone say to me about their experience on this blog than what you shared in your closing words. Thank you.

    Blessings dear friend!