How do we thrive in this season of uncertainty?
It’s amazing how quickly words can be introduced and integrated into our daily vocabulary. Four months ago I had never heard the term “Shelter in place” or “Coronavirus”. I had never used the word quarantine in a sentence before. Now those words seem to be as common as the air we breathe. A new term has started to trend, “Quarantine 15”. It’s being compared to the “Freshman 15”, the 15 pounds that freshmen in college tend to gain during their first year of college. Instead of referring to the 15 pounds usually gained as a freshman, Quarantine 15 is referring to the pounds gained (or are currently being gained) during the early months of Covid 19.
It’s real. I can’t say that I have personally gained 15 pounds, but I get it. My emotions have been all over the place. When I am feeling off, it takes very little convincing that I am entitled to eat whatever I want. I don’t have to look far for the reason. Covid. Enough said.
If you don’t know me personally, you may not know that I am also a personal trainer. I have been a personal trainer for over 10 years now. I am not currently practicing, but I have worked with every type of person you could imagine. A majority of my clients come to me wanting to lose weight. Oftentimes they come to me with a list of fad diets and exercise routines they have tried. Certain programs have worked for them for a season, but ultimately they end up back at square one. What I have learned over time is that no program or specific diet is going to work long term until the person internalizes their ‘why’.
“Lisa, why are you talking about fad diets again?”
You bring up a very valid question. I bring this up because I believe that in order to thrive in this season of uncertainty we have to take care of our bodies. And we won’t do that until we have a compelling “why”.
It starts by remembering who we belong to.
“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” 1 Corinthians 6: 19-20.
Our bodies belong to God.
If you are not walking with Jesus, this can be a weird and mystical concept to follow. Let’s be honest, even if you are following Jesus, this can be a tough concept to fully understand. Let me give you a little history lesson that can hopefully help.
God has always wanted to amongst his people.
“Beginning in the Old Testament (OT) book of Exodus, the tabernacle was a place for God to dwell among his people. He gave Israel detailed instructions for how to build it (1445 BC). He designed it so that they could tear it down, carry it around, and set it back up as they traveled through the wilderness.” (Shepherd thoughts). When the Israelites moved, he moved with them.
After the tabernacle, God dwelt in two different temples (at different times). I won’t bore you with too much history and details, but it is important to note that these temples were considered to be holy places. People would come to these temples to experience the presence of God.
Then Jesus came. God in the flesh, dwelt amongst his people.
When Jesus was about to leave His disciples and ascend into heaven, He said “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate (Holy Spirit) to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.” John 14:6
When we make a decision to invite Jesus into our life, the Holy Spirit comes and dwells in us. God is not just amongst us, he is in us.
We are the temple of the Holy Spirit.
There are many chapters in the Old Testament that are dedicated to giving specific and special instructions to the Isrealites about how to construct the places in which God chose to dwell. They were considered the most holy of holy places. People dedicated their whole lives to the construction and preservation of the places in which God dwelt.
We are called to do the same. We are called to treat our bodies, the dwelling place of the most high, with the utmost respect and care. We need to make sure that God’s dwelling place is fit for the king.
That’s really powerful and beautiful, isn’t it?
But no matter how much I love this truth, I have found, both in my own life and in others that I have worked with, that this concept alone is too abstract to truly motivate change.
So what does? Let’s keep digging.
After we are reminded of who we belong to, we then need to be reminded of something else.
Our calling. Our purpose.
No matter who you are or who you follow, we all have a desire and need to make a difference in our world. And whether you call it a calling or something else, I think we can all agree that each one of us was created with a unique skill set and that we all have a unique role to play in this world.
We are not able to walk out the fullness of God’s calling on our life unless we take care of ourselves physically.
And although it may feel like it, your calling doesn’t change when your circumstances change. It just might look a little different. Covid didn’t change your calling, only God can change your calling.
Are you called to be a teacher? In order to be the teacher God created you to be, you need to have endurance, energy and a clear mind.
Are you called to work with your hands? In order to create the beautiful things that God has in store for you, you must have the strength the project requires of you.
Are you called to be a parent? You need every advantage available to have the energy, strength, endurance and creativity to be the parent God is calling you to be.
My guess is that a lot of people that are reading this already know these things. A lot of us know that we are the temple of the Holy Spirit. A lot of us realize that we are missing out on the fullness of God’s calling on our lives.
So how do we go from just knowing these things to putting these truths into practice?
It may sound weird, but start by praying. Pray that God will give you a new revelation of the purpose and the importance of taking care of our bodies. Ask God to convict your heart for not treating your body with the respect it deserves.
And then stay tuned. Next week we are going to get practical. Small changes equal big changes over time. I’m excited to share some practical tips with you about how to take care of your body.
Quarantine 15 is a choice, and so is thriving in uncertainty. Let’s commit to thriving in this time of uncertainty.
Because there is more,