"Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Paul to the persecuted at Philippi (2:5-11)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Oh the Humanity....

I got in a workout tonight. And while I was there in the class, doing "alphabets" with everyone else (a cruel exercise in which one lies flat on one's back and traces the letters of the alphabet in the air with straight legs... sounds easy, but its murder on my poor put-upon hips), I was trying everything I could not to think about how much this was starting to hurt... That's the think about alphabets, if it hurts on C you've got a long haul in front of you.

And so I started thinking about other stuff... like how loudly I was repeating back the letters to the instructor, about how I surely smelled like the back end of a horse, about how my workout clothes were really more sweat stained than ought to be wearable (but I'm trying to get just three more months out of them).

Now if this were a perfect world, no doubt my hips would not have hurt. But if this were a perfect world I wouldn't have to do silly things to work off the extra chocolate chip cookie (that in a perfect world I wouldn't have eaten in the sin of gluttony anyway) and to keep my body from slowly breaking down with age. If this were a perfect world, I wouldn't smell like horse's rear (okay, I've showered since, then, so I smell like daisies now, of course). If this were a perfect world, there would be no struggle with alphabets, slow kicks (that's what came next) and eventual exhaustion.

There's no denying our humanness, our Genesis 3 problem, when one smells like the back end of a horse.

Which, I realized in my alphabetic haze, is important. Just as working with our bodies helps us to have a positive theology of the body, a sense of our material side as having value and being worth preservation and building, the sheer effort of doing so is living evidence of our imperfection. Nobody in that room was glamorous. Nobody looked like they's just walked off the cover of Cosmo or GQ. And our own horse-smell is probably why we don't notice anyone else's. We're all in this together.

It's the lazy man who notices another man's sweat. The busy man has his own to notice.

Maybe that's why the physical is so tied to the spiritual, and exercise is part of the healthy spiritual life.

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