I am a very self-aware person, I know myself pretty darn well. I know why I do the things I do and what causes me to do them. I know my strengths and my numerous flaws and I know that at times I am a hypocrite. I know this and I accept it, but sometimes I miss out on certain areas of hypocrisy. Today was one of those days it was blatantly revealed to me via a painful experience.
(Back-story) Two weeks ago I was giving my parents grief for considering purchasing a gas-guzzling vehicle needlessly. My mom wanted an SUV with more space, although she only has two children (and I have a vehicle of my own). I went on for about thirty minutes telling them that the Earth is God’s gift to mankind and to mistreat it is to spit in His face.
(Fast-forward) Today I went running because I told myself I needed to exercise more. Well I was trotting along and thought to myself ‘This isn’t as hard as I thought it would be.’ I kept running for about two blocks and then it hit me. BAM! The pain started as a tingle in my gut and slowly spread outwardly and my id said to my ego ‘What the crap are you doing to me?’ I thought ‘Just make it to that bench’, and then the bench starting looking further and further away and I stopped the jog and went into a power walk. I kept power walking and in my mind the thought occurred ‘I can’t pass out here, my neighbors have no idea who I am. I am a black teen in a white neighborhood; they’ll call the cops before they try to help me.’ So I managed to jog my way back and on the way a thought so venomous came to my mind that it could only have come from God. Only in my immensely painful situation would God teach me a lesson. The voice was quiet in my mind but clear when it said ‘Shame on you, you’ll take care of the Earth, but not my Temple.’ Conviction was laid on my mind on top of the physical conundrum taking place right beneath my head. My body burst into sweat and my conscious just burst.
“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20(ESV) There it is in plain black and white. My body is just as much a gift as the Earth, and I have been neglecting to take care of it. So tomorrow I will attempt another jog (not a run) around the neighborhood, so that by taking care of my body, I will glorify God. Being obedient is difficult and at times, painful, but “obedience is better than sacrifice” (1 Samuel 15:22), and I want to be the best servant of God I can be, even if that means subjecting myself to pain temporarily, in the long run it will be for my benefit because God’s commands are always meant to benefit His children.