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Taking Care of My “Fearfully and Wonderfully Made” Self

May 3, 2010

Not quite certain how to get this post rolling so I figure diving in is just as good as any other way. nothing too heavy but something I’ve simply had on my heart in one way or another for quite awhile now. Today was just the day that it came to a head for me.

I’m very thankful that God has blessed me with a healthy body. I’ve been able to stay in shape pretty much throughout my life, having had the fun of playing lots of sports growing up; doing some martial arts; wrestling, playing college soccer and serving in the U.S. Marine Corps for about 10 years. You get the idea — I kind of had that physical training thing down and ingrained as part of my daily regimen. After I left the Marine Corps, I started another, less physically demanding / less life-endangering job which has blessed us immensely but positions me squarely in front of a computer for…let’s see…all day. Again, this job has been so wonderful in countless ways to include a flexible schedule, allowing me to pursue my passion of music / songwriting, singing and worship leading over the past few years.

Having said that, I guess you could say that my priorities have shifted to a point that going to the gym or hitting the road for a run doesn’t fit neatly within my top 5…or 10…things to do every day.

I can tell that this career change and this decision to pursue a calling that God’s put on my life is exactly where I need to be right now. But I think that I’ve lost sight of something that I took for granted for so many years. I was reading Psalm 139:14 this morning that says, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made…”. The reading of it over and over again actually made me feel like junk today and I couldn’t figure out why. I think I sensed God kind of reminding me that praising and worshiping Him don’t just occur through song. I know…I know…you can read hundreds of blog posts from other worship leaders, pastors, missionaries and other wonderful Christians worldwide that have this very same realization numerous times in their life regarding the importance of worshiping God with our whole life ; that’s not lost on me. But it’s obvious that we really DO need to be reminded of the simple truth that the worship of our Creator is something to be done in every aspect of our life — in our family, in our church, in our small groups, in our jobs, at our kids soccer games, whatever and wherever. We don’t have to burst out into song (though some of us do…Oh come on be honest…you know who you are (present company included I have to admit) but we do have to show His love through us. It’s commanded of us AND demonstrated for us multiple times throughout scripture.

So here’s where I’m going with this — I’ve fallen into a rut of not really taking care of my body the way I used to; a body and a life that, I’m reminded, has been “fearfully and wonderfully made” by a God who loves and adores me and sacrificed His Son for my eternal salvation. And I’ve just neglected it to that point where now, I knowingly choose to just feign and blow off opportunities to work on my fitness; not to mention the junk that I eat. I’ll go so far as to tell myself that I’d better re-write that song once more or practice my guitar instead or play with my kids just to NOT get in a workout. And yes, I absolutely love doing all of those things and every one of them is extremely important! But I’m realizing kind of a hard truth about myself. I am a better husband to my wife, a better father to my kids, a better friend and employee, a better worship leader, a better singer and songwriter when I take good care of myself physically. Maybe that’s not the same for everybody; I don’t know; but I do know that God’s telling me that it’s certainly that way for me.

So today I went out for a run. Not only did I get a great workout but I guess I just used the time to bring this part of my life back under the covering and authority of Jesus. I asked Him to help me persevere and take care of my body and to guide me in my workouts. Sounds a bit dramatic and off the deep end, huh? But, seriously; why not, right? I consistently ask Him to help me be a better husband and father; to help me write songs that proclaim my love and desire to serve Him, right? So will He not also guide me in my endeavor to live a healthy and physically strong life?

So I’ve got to ask — What area of your life do you just KNOW has fallen off course from the way God intended when He created you so magnificently? What’s stopping you from praying what can sometimes be a very daunting prayer of inviting God to come into this particular part of your life and use it once again as a vessel for His work; no matter what it is?

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. May 4, 2010 1:54 am

    Very well said Joel. You point out importance of God’s existence in our life. Though we remember him only during our bad we know he will help out to overcome that situation. All the best for your future life.

  2. May 5, 2010 9:37 pm

    I’ve heard of a LOT of people who see their physical health as an act of worship. In fact, I think it should be…

    Not sure how to answer your question in my own life, though… I’m in a season of re-writing / re-balancing – re-working. Conveniently happening when we’re getting settled into our new lives back home post-seminary. and our pastor is taking all of us staff through a reflection, reorientation of our personal lives. It’s challenging. And making me ask some of those hard questions. And giving me a runway to really take off into a new re-balanced flight!

    • May 11, 2010 3:00 pm

      Mandy – thanks so much for your reply. Obviously not getting very many as we just started this thing up…I feel like such a yack-ass that I’ve not even responded to your comment. To say the least, I had some serious internet connectivity issues.

      Anyway, reading your reference to “re-working and re-balancing”, then also reading some of your recent blogposts, I’ve got to say this. Despite the pain, uncertainty and probably the gazillion questions asked of God (“what are you doing with me God?” / “why is this part of my life going this way” / “how are you shaping me; molding me; fathering and preparing me, God?”) —

      I’m really excited to see chapter for which He’s armoring you. I know we’ve not met but I wanted to let you know that I’ve just recently found myself praying for you and Drew with regarding to “your preparation”. That’s about all the clarity I’ve got on that. So there 🙂

      Thanks again for your comments!

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