Our tag line, or motto if you will, used to be "Life is not about the body, but our health is a means of praise." You may remember that from the old site. It's a little clunky. Somewhat wordy. But despite its lack of rhythm and meter, it's still true. Still holds. Meaning that any health we have (defined as anywhere between first and last heartbeat) is our chance at worship; our one shot at giving glory to His grace.
But the older I get and the longer I spend in the fitness industry, and especially as PrayFit becomes more involved within the local church, I am growing ever convinced of the complexity of physical stewardship. And perhaps as if I'm looking into a whirlpool of my own history, and writing, and shortcomings, and illnesses, and breakdowns and breakthroughs, and sin, and forgiveness and grace, I imagine myself reaching into the mixture of devotions and extracting that old phrase "means of praise" out of the millions of other words and axioms we've used over the years.
Placing it aside, there it is. Means of praise. Drying it off, so to speak, I take a good look at it. With my chin in my hands, I ask it, "What value do you have in my life and in the life of my readers, old and new? After all this time, what do you really mean?"
Pastor Curtis Johnson blew my hair back last week during a meeting when he said, "Stewardship is a pathway to generosity." Now, of course, he wasn't referring to our physical stewardship, but what a powerful statement. See it again: Stewardship is a pathway to generosity. Examining it from a purely financial sense, it's clear that the management of God's money, His gift to us, is a step to having the opportunity of being generous with our money. In other words, caring for something that's not our own is stewardship, yes, but it doesn't mean we're being generous with it. And I'm finally to the end of the beginning of this long-winded entry.
You and I have been put in charge of something that God made and gave us to take care of temporarily that's not our own, these bodies. Of course, that's not anything new or rare to see on this page. It's not exactly the spotted owl. Because of its familiarity, we glaze over that sentence as if we've just been given the specials menu at our favorite restaurant. But I know in my own life, if the simplest form of bodily stewardship is more than mindful management but in fact incomplete unless generosity is the result, I've missed it.
This week we may spend a few days on the subject if that's alright; generous health. For some it may mean tough self-examination. When was the last time you prayed for God to help you care less about the gym and more for the people inside it? When was the last time the byproducts of effort resulted in exactly what you intended but were left unused in truly meaningful ways? When is an achieved goal the beginning? When was the last time you saw bodily stewardship and the generosity it requires as a private matter? Finally, and maybe I should have started with this, what does it mean to you to be generous with health? Love to know your thoughts this week. We may just find out that our health is truly our means of praise.
- jimmy peña
Special Note: This new series and today's entry were planned prior to the events in Vegas and the entire team sends out prayers and thoughts to everyone involved and affected by this horrible tragedy.