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Get in shape

For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. 1 Timothy 4.8

Those of us who enjoy maintaining physical fitness are not onto a bad thing. After all, does not Paul define our bodies as "temples of the Holy Spirit" (1 Corinthians 6.19)? For as long as we tread this earth we shall need our bodies to live faithfully. However the same Paul admonishes his younger protégé, Timothy, that keeping spiritually fit is even more important, not least in preparing for life in the New Creation, which is eternal!

Let this frame our daily routine: quiet time with God as our first priority, in the context of a healthy lifestyle which embraces exercise, good food, relationships, a reasonable work-life balance with a bare minimum of social media. Our quiet times should include copious times of listening as well as expressing ourselves in prayer and getting acquainted with the written word of the Bible, alongside commentaries, devotional texts and inspirational stories.

None of this is prescriptive, of course. We are free to live according to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. And we are accountable to God alone. Some of us live peripatetic lives, constantly on the move. Others are more settled. Routine should not be stifling. At its best it provides the shape and rigour which enable us to behave more spontaneously to unexpected intrusions or opportunities because we the bare necessities are already covered.



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