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Move Time: An Act of Sacrificial Worship

Apr 12, 2021

This is post by Jen Stanbro.

A couple of months ago, I was sitting next to my mom on the couch in my screened-in patio, on a beautiful 75 degree day in February. This was new to me.  I grew up in Western New York (think lake-effect snow) and then lived in Wisconsin for six years (think seven degrees with gale-force winds). This was my first February in North Carolina and it didn’t feel like February to me at all. As I sat with my feet on the coffee table, enjoying the warm, gentle breeze, I breathed in deep and said, “Mmm, this weather makes me want to sit and do nothing.” 

My mom gave a chuckle.  

I looked at her. “What?” I said. 

She looked at me, still chuckling a little, and said, “Every kind of weather makes you want to sit and do nothing.” 

I joined her laughter.  It’s terrible but true. When it’s cold and blustery and snow is falling, I just want to sit and do nothing. When the weather outside is mild like it was that day, I feel invited to relax and do nothing. When it’s a hot and sunny day, I just want to sit in the shade, or better yet, the AC and read a book or, well, do nothing. 

It’s not that I’m lazy. ‘Nothing’ has always been so appealing to me because it is such a stark contrast from the ‘everything’ that consumes my daily life. For as long as I can remember, I’ve chosen to fill my life to the edges, and it could even be said that I’m at my most productive when my fairly large plate is overflowing a little. I tend to thrive in overdrive. 

But productivity and physical activity are not the same thing. I’m not a physically active person by nature. For most of my life, it would’ve been fitting for me to wear one of those shirts that say, “I don’t run. If you see me running, you should run too because something is probably chasing me.” I’m a musician. A reader. A writer. A creative. I have some athletic tendencies but I have not oft felt inclined to cultivate them. All this to say, Move Time doesn’t come easy to me, so know that if I can do it, well, just about anyone can. 

And my starting place is God’s Word. 

In 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, Paul says, “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.” 

And then in Romans 12:1, Paul makes his point another way, saying, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.”

In taking just a cursory look through the scriptures it’s apparent that caring for God’s temple is important to Him, and our bodies are God’s temples. When we are attentive to our physical health, as the priests were attentive to the tabernacle or synagogue, we glorify the Lord. God made the greatest sacrifice for us! He is amply-deserving of our sacrifices and He receives His due worship as we wake up a little earlier, sweat to build strength, and push ourselves to increase endurance for the tasks He’s given us to carry out. 

For me, before I lace up my sneakers, pick up a free weight, or step into the pool, I pray. I pursue fitness in worship to my worthy King, for His ultimate glory, so I submit my Move Time to Him. I ask God to bless every effort and every physical sacrifice so that it may bear fruit, not only in the way of physical health, but in the way He is transforming and sanctifying me through the experience, growing fruits of faithfulness, patience, and self-discipline.

Do you see your Move Time as an act of worship to the Lord? How might this perspective influence how you approach that sacred time? 

 

Jen Stanbro is the singer/songwriter behind the Hello Mornings podcast theme song, “God Day.” She lives in North Carolina with her husband and crew of cuckoo kids. Her heart aches for the oppressed and marginalized, and she seeks to reignite God’s holy fire in the hearts of His people to love courageously like Jesus.

Photo by Bruno Nascimento on Unsplash

 

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