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.


Women Moving Forward Seminar This Saturday At Second Missionary Baptist

Second Missionary Baptist Church will be holding a Women Moving Forward Seminar on Saturday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. for their 69th  Annual Women's Day Celebration. The event is free but participants will need to register by calling the church office at 423-624-3275. The sessions available will be Grief & Healing, Caregiving, Christian Parenting, Health & Healthy Choices ... (click for more)

Shadrix Trio Plays At Bethesda Baptist Oct. 12

Shadrix Trio is playing a live concert at Bethesda Baptist Church on Oct. 12, at 6 p.m. Bethesda Baptist Church is at 600 Highway 151 in LaFayette.  For more information call 706.620-2066.  The concert is free.  Review for Shadrix Trio: From Northwest Georgia, the Shadrix Trio is a young, exciting, anointed ministry that has been traveling throughout the United ... (click for more)

Erlanger Finishes Fiscal Year With $18 Million Profit

After a major loss the year before, Erlanger Health System finished the fiscal year with an $18 million profit, officials announced Monday night. It was well ahead of the $2 million gain that Erlanger had budgeted for, and far better than last year's $8 million loss. The profit was boosted by a first-time $19,587,000 from a Public Hospital Supplemental payment and essential ... (click for more)

Chancellor Rules That IDB Must Reimburse Attorney Fees, Other Legal Costs For Helen Burns Sharp On TIF Lawsuit

Chancellor Pam Fleenor has ruled that Helen Burns Sharp, who sued over the validity of a $9 million Tax Increment Financing (TIF) for a planned major development on Aetna Mountain, should be reimbursed her discretionary costs as well as her attorney fees. Ms. Sharp said in a recent court filing that her legal bills to attorney John Konvalinka were $74,427 at the time. The ... (click for more)

ChattaData Is A Real Advance For The City

This past Tuesday, the city of Chattanooga's new performance management tool called ChattaData was unveiled. As the chairman of the City Council’s Budget & Finance Committee, I am excited to witness the city putting this important information online in a way that is accessible and transparent to all taxpayers. This approach shines light on how we as a city prioritize our ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Apollos Hester’s Way

East View High was trailing at halftime by a pair of touchdowns in last Friday night’s game against unbeaten Vandegrift. But the players at the Georgetown, Texas, school each have a sticker on the back of their helmets that says “TPW” which is a constant reminder that “Tough People Win.” Then there is “attitude” and that is where running back Apollos Hester steps in. In what ... (click for more)