bodies are a temple. We should treat them with respect, keep them
healthy. Eat foods that aren’t smothered in chocolate, drenched in fat,
or covered with salt. And most important, ex . . . exer . . .
I find it hard to say—and even
harder to do. Exercise.
I’ll walk. I’ll do sit-ups with
the best of them. If it weren’t for one thing.
I know a surefire way to make a
million bucks: Find a way to exercise and not sweat. No matter what you
call it—sweat, perspiration, or that salty glow you get when your lungs
are burning—it’s annoying. It stings your eyes, melts your makeup, and
leaves telltale half-moons under your arms. It’s . . . the pits.
I realize a sweaty brow is a
trophy of sorts. It is proof (if accompanied by the appropriate ball,
racquet, or aerobic attire) that you are keeping the inner workings of
your body healthy by achieving a certain measure of fitness. Exactly
what measure can be determined by your posture? If you are in a prone
position resembling a dead gingerbread man, your fitness quotient is
low. If you are jogging in place with enough breath left in your lungs
to recite the Declaration of Independence, I don’t want to speak to
Some weekend warriors (like me)
don’t need a Boston marathon to break into a respectable sweat. Sorting
seventeen white socks from the dryer, finding a parking place at the
mall, or turning the channels manually on the TV when the remote gives
out can all create a respectable glow. When I attempt some real
exercise, like walking, tennis, or a game of H-O-R-S-E, my body calls
out the National Guard. This is not a drill.
Obvious improvements have been
made in the sweat department in the last hundred years. Before the
advent of deodorant, daily showers, and washers that use electricity
instead of the nearest rock, the aroma of mankind was an accepted part
of everyday life. But considering lice, outdoor privies, and dirt
floors were also de rigueur, it wasn’t a point to
brag about. The potpourri many of us have sitting in a pretty dish to
freshen a room used to be a standard accessory item in the form of a
pomander hanging from one’s belt to cover up the aroma of one’s toils.
People died young, not from disease, but because their noses gave out.
At least that’s my theory.
Now we live in a perfumed
society. We have no excuse for not smelling like roses, a newborn baby,
musk, or a sea breeze. Personally, I don’t like smelling like food: no
peaches, lemon, or vanilla for me. I think about food enough without
smelling like it.
discriminates. Baseball players, tennis stars, and figure skaters look
great bathed in sweat. I, however, look wilted—my face gets red, my
hair hangs like cold spaghetti, and my clothes stick to me in all the
wrong places. Perhaps it has something to do with our respective
realize sweat has a purpose
(as do rice cakes and Richard Simmons—or so they say), but certainly
someone can design a pill that will cool our bodies without making them
sticky and uncomfortable. Dogs pant. Humans . . . ?
Let’s cut to the chase: Jesus
said that “all things are possible with God” (Mark 10:27 NIV).
Therefore, I challenge mankind to find a way to stay slim, be trim, and
worship Him while keeping our temples perspiration free.
“Whatever you do, work at it
with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you
know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It
is the Lord Christ you are serving” (Col. 3:23–24 NIV).
Hmm. What if we tackled a
healthy diet and exercise not for ourselves but “as working for the
Could we learn to view sweat as
I’ll add that to my list of
questions to ask God when I’m spending eternity with Him. Surely in
heaven I’ll be able to eat Big Macs and not do
tummy crunches. Or . . . maybe in His presence, I’ll have other things
on my mind.
Maybe I need to tap into those
“other things” right now, quit obsessing about my weight, put Him
first, and let the food and exercise handle themselves. How about the
“He First” diet? “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and
all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry
about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has
enough trouble of its own” (Matt. 6:33–34 NIV). Trouble I make for
Perhaps this is the key: Honor
God with your body, work as if working for the Lord, seek Him, and
I feel better already.