Bob Tamasy: Fitness: Body, Mind And Spirit

Thursday, May 29, 2014 - by Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy

If talk and intentions equated to physical conditioning, the United States would become the fittest nation in the history of mankind.

There have been enough books written about diets to fill the libraries of many small towns, not to mention diet and fitness videos. Fitness centers of all types seem to be popping up on every corner, ranging from the casual, come-whenever-you-like variety to women-only facilities to YMCAs to hard-core camps designed for aspiring Navy SEALS. There are even programs to conveniently fit your lunch hour or unorthodox work schedule, so you can flex on your flex-time.

Do you like competitive events? You can choose from fun walks and runs to mud runs to marathons to Ironman Triathlons.

There’s mountain climbing, repelling, hiking, rowing, and just about anything you can imagine using a board, from surfing to skateboarding to gliding over and through the snow. Pick your poison. In reality, if you’re out of shape, you have no one to blame but yourself.

The same applies increasingly to training the mind: Mental fitness. With fears of Alzheimer’s, dementia and similar disabilities looming, particularly as we grow older, all manner of strategies have been developed to “exercise” our gray matter. For a long time we’ve had crossword puzzles, anagrams, riddles and word-finds, and now we’ve also got Sudoku, computer games, smart phone apps like Lumosity, and an ever-growing assortment of other helpful tools.

So how many words and facts and memories can you “bench-press”?

We spend a lot of time trying to shape and tone our bodies and minds – at least we plan to do that. But how much time and effort do we devote to spiritual training?

As the Bible wisely has pointed out, “For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, building promises for both the present life and the life to come” (1 Timothy 4:8).

That’s not to disparage the value of physical fitness, exercise, proper eating and other means for getting and staying healthy. After all, the Scriptures tell us, “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him, for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple” (1 Corinthians 3:16). Good reason for keeping our “temples” properly maintained.

But in addition to being physical, intellectual and emotional beings, we’re also spiritual in one respect or another. To deny that is to ignore an important facet of who we are and what we become. Ecclesiastes 3:11 states God has, “also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” God wants us to know this life is not the end, but merely a “preview of coming attractions,” so to speak.

What should a spiritual fitness regimen look like? Some might endorse rigid rules and regulations, but what the Lord describes in the Scriptures is a daily, continual relationship. For instance, we’re told to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Rather than waiting for a specific time, place and posture to talk with God, we can remain in constant contact with Him – at work or at school (no separation of church and state from His point of view), in an intense business meeting, in the car, on a playing field, or in the midst of a picnic with family and friends.

It’s curious that the Bible is regarded the least-read bestseller among all books. This isn’t the way God intends, as He repeats throughout the Old and New testaments. Bibles aren’t designed to take up bookshelf space. The truths they contain are to fill our minds and prepare us for the rigors and challenges of daily living.

For instance, “Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you will be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful” (Joshua 1:8). Study it, think about it – and think about it some more.

The Scriptures also admonish disciples of Jesus to “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). Later in the same passage it states, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man (and woman) of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

In the Psalms we find this advice that applies to every person professing to know and follow Christ: “How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word…. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you” (Psalm 119:9-11).

Aiming for physical fitness and the proper weight? Great. Wanting to keep your mind sharp as long as you have breath? Excellent. But if you’re not diligently pursuing spiritual fitness, in ways such as described above, you might be neglecting the most important facet of all.

When should you start? How about now?

---

Robert J. Tamasy is a veteran journalist, a former newspaper editor and magazine editor. He is presently vice president of communications for Leaders Legacy, Inc., a non-profit focused on mentoring and coaching business and professional leaders. Bob has written hundreds of magazine articles, and has authored, co-authored and edited more than 15 books. These include “Tufting Legacies,” “The Heart of Mentoring,” “Business at Its Best,” and “Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart.” He edits a weekly business meditation, “Monday Manna,” which is translated into more than 20 languages and distributed via email around the world by CBMC International. He also posts regularly on two blogs, www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com, and www.bobtamasy.wordpress.com. He can be emailed at btamasy@comcast.net.


North Georgia Church Exceeds School Supply Goal, Expands To 3 Schools

Rock Bridge Community Church has surpassed its goal of providing all school supplies for the 472 children at Roan Elementary School and has now committed to providing resources to two additional schools this fall through its Summer Bag Pack initiative.   Tony Helton, Rock Bridge’s Dalton Campus Pastor, says the church began working toward the initial goal in June.  Congregants ... (click for more)

13th Pastoral Anniversary Celebration To Be Held Sunday At Inner Peace Church

Inner Peace Church, 2125 Tunnel Blvd. in Chattanooga, will be celebrating the 13th pastoral anniversary for Pastor and Mrs. Ron King, Sr. this Sunday at 11 a.m., with Pastor  A.D.  Davis of Huntsville, who will be preaching God's word. Officials said, "He has been teaching and preaching 'nothing but the truth' for a total of 17 years. This is a community and pubic invitation ... (click for more)

Soddy Daisy Considering Property Tax Increase Of Just Under 10 Cents

Soddy Daisy officials are considering a property tax increase of just under 10 cents per $100 of assessed valuation.   A possible vote on the increase is set for the next meeting of the Soddy Daisy Commission on Aug. 3 at 7 p.m.   The current tax rate is 1.3524, but the new certified rate after the recent reappraisal is 1.2559.   ... (click for more)

Police Find Large Cache Of Meth, $23,134 Cash On Hensley At Motel Near Hamilton Place; Police Say He Was Supplier To Rossville Man Who Died In June 29 Overdose

Chattanooga Police said they found Michael Wade Hensley with a large cache of meth, a loaded handgun and $23,134 cash after being summoned to a motel near Hamilton Place Mall last Wednesday. Police said they believe that Hensley, 41, was the supplier for a 36-year-old Rossville man who died of an overdose on June 29. Hensley is now facing federal charges of possession of meth ... (click for more)

Dr. Livesay Should Step Down From Bryan College Leadership - And Response (3)

I am writing in response to the July 25th article, "Online Petition Seeks Removal of Bryan College President, Board Chair".  As a graduate of Bryan College (1984), I am saddened by the response of Dr. Stephen Livesay and the Board of Trustees regarding the online petition.  The purpose of the petition really has little to do with the school’s “clarification” of its ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: ‘No Sir -- It Stays Here’

To any of the millions who have served the United States on the field of combat, the most hallowed and prized distinction is our nation’s Medal of Honor. It is never given, it is always earned before it is ever awarded.  At least that’s the way it was up until a sun-splashed Wednesday three weeks ago in Vicenza, Italy. There is an Army base there that houses the 173 rd Airborne ... (click for more)