Shortly after we moved into our new home in a new neighborhood, the house next door started to go up. A lovely bricked home—unusual in Florida. Our then 10-year-old son and his friend thought it would be fun to decorate the front of that house.
The bricks had just been finished, and the mortar elements were still there. So the boys mixed their own mortar and threw small globs of it all over the front of the house. We were horrified when we discovered it the next morning. Great neighbors, huh?
We asked the boys to scrape off the dried mortar, but the builder didn’t want their amateur hands ruining the façade. We asked him to come up with a real consequence for the boys, but he didn’t want to bother. He just wrote it off as vandalism and hired professionals to clean it off.
I always marvel at vandalism—graffiti, breakage, destruction. Who would do that? Why?
Then I discovered I have a problem with vandalism, one I am reminded of at this time every year.
Three of the most common New Year’s resolutions are to lose weight, exercise more and get healthier.
True for me. Why?
Because for the rest of the year I have vandalized my body.
For many it is just an appearance thing. But as you get older, it becomes a survival thing. My doctor says I need to raise my breathing capacity and lower my cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar. Nothing is out of control, but everything is creeping up.
The solution: Lose weight, exercise, eat right, rest more. Or take lots of meds.
So if I want to stay energetic, healthy, productive, I need to stop vandalizing my body.
But it goes deeper than that.
Scripture tells me that my body is God’s temple. He no longer lives (on earth) in a big building. He lives in you and me. He has made His home in us, His children. He says our bodies are His temple:
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? (1 Corinthians 6:19)
Every time I choose not to get out and walk, or to eat that yummy dessert, or to cut short my sleep time or to add more activities—and stress—to my days, I am destroying my body.
I am vandalzing the very home of God.
I’m praying that this perspective will help me to make those right choices day by day—to protect and strengthen and even beautify God’s house.
What about you? Are you a vandal to the house of the Lord?
c2011 Judy Douglass