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.



"A Place Of Praise" Is Sermon Sunday At Metro Tab Church

Metro Tab Church, 2101 West Shepherd Road in Chattanooga, Highway 153 at Airport exit 1, invites the public to hear the message "A Place of Praise" by Pastor Steve Ball at the 10:30 a.m. worship service this Sunday. "Everyone is invited to come and worship with us," officials said. (click for more)

"Let's Find A Way To Finish" Is Topic Sunday At Middle Valley COG

Middle Valley Church of God announces that Pastor Mitch McClure will speak on the topic, "Let's Find A Way To Finish,"  in the 10:30 a.m. service on Sunday.  This sermon is part of a sermon series titled "Moving Towards Victory."  "This series focuses attention on the reality that God wants to provide victory in the life of each and every believer," officials said.  ... (click for more)

Federal Funding Allocated For Future Bradley County Tennessee State Veterans Home

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam, Department of Veterans Services Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder and Tennessee State Veterans Home Executive Director Ed Harries announced the receipt of the $26,224,263 award from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) State Veterans Home Grants program today. The grant will provide the federal funding needed to build the future Bradley County ... (click for more)

VA Issues Water And Road Traffic Cautions In Areas Of Savannah Creek, Harrison Bay And Chickamauga Marina

The Tennessee Valley Authority is issuing water and road traffic cautions for transmission line work that will span from just north of Savannah Creek to Chickamauga Dam. This work is part of several projects to upgrade TVA’s transmission system to ensure continued delivery of 99.999 percent reliable power. Area residents should expect to see helicopters working in this area ... (click for more)

A Tribute For My Brother – Sgt. Jonathan Gardner, U.S. Army

Seven years ago today, my family and I found out that my brother, Sgt. Jonathan D. Gardner, was seriously injured by a roadside bomb, (explosively formed penetrator - EFP), while on a mission in Kuwait. The EFP went through the bottom of his seat and put a softball size hole in his upper thigh. The doctors said that if the bomb had entered the Humvee an inch to the right, he ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Black Telephone

If you have never seen one in an antique store you wouldn’t know that the first telephones were contained in a not-so-small wooden box that had a snout-looking mouth piece and a separate speaker that you would hold on your ear while you talked. This was many years ago when phones were fun as compared to today’s tiny cell phones that rudely interrupt us from the task-at-hand both ... (click for more)