Here’s my latest for Our Daily Journey. I’m turning it in tomorrow, so if you see something say something. Thanks!
I like to write out my thoughts before I type them, and I’ve learned that my brain works best with a good pen. When I grab an old pen that rolls roughly across the paper, my thoughts thump along in fits and starts that mirror the pen itself. When I can’t squeeze the ink out I can’t squeeze the words out, and I quickly toss the pen aside for a better one. I’m delighted when I find a pen that works. A free flowing pen opens my mind, and the words often come pouring out as fast as I can write them.
I’m not surprised that the operation of my mind depends on the quality of my pen. I am a physical being, so it’s natural for my body to have a direct line into my soul. Our bodies influence our spiritual lives in at least two ways.
1. Healthy bodies promote healthy souls. Paul was assuming the benefits of physical exercise when he told Timothy that spiritual training is even better. He recognized the importance of a healthy body and instructed Timothy “to drink a little wine for the sake of your stomach because you are sick so often” (1 Timothy 5:23). Anyone who has ever tried to pray after a heavy meal knows that a fit body is necessary for a disciplined soul.
2. Body posture changes the posture of our souls. In C. S. Lewis’s Screwtape Letters, a demon told his understudy that kneeling in prayer tends to bow the heart before God. The demon must persuade Christians “that the bodily position makes no difference to their prayers; for they constantly forget, what you must always remember, that they are animals and that whatever their bodies do affects their souls.”
God gave us baptism so our whole being could experience dying and rising with Christ. And He gave us the Lord’s Supper, where the bread and cup impress our hunger for Jesus deep into our souls. Those who are spiritual use their bodies well.