Monday, November 23, 2009

using the world and our bodies to fight for joy

We're bodily creatures. When we don't get enough sleep, we feel irritable. When we hear music, we're moved to tears or joy. ... Even if we don't admit it, we all use physical means to affect how we feel. So how do we avoid emotional manipulation and idolising created things, while using the world and our bodies in the fight for joy? ...

It's a little ironic, but as I sit hunched over the computer, neglecting a certain amount of exercise and rest to write these posts, it's these words which come to mind:

To sit long in one posture, poring over a book ... is itself a taxing of nature; but add to this a badly ventilated room, a body which has long been without muscular exercise, and a heart burdened with many cares, and we have all the elements for preparing a seething cauldron of despair . . . He who forgets the humming of the bees among the heather, the cooing of the wood-pigeons in the forest, the song of birds in the woods, the rippling of rills among the rushes, and the sighing of the wind among the pines, needs not wonder if his heart forgets to sing and his soul grows heavy. A day’s breathing of fresh air upon the hills, or a few hours’ ramble in the beech woods’ umbrageous calm, would sweep the cobwebs out of the brain of scores of our toiling ministers who are now but half alive. (quote from C Spurgeon on p.204 extended)

How important this has been in my own fight for joy! As I walk through God's world and think and pray, I practise both of Piper's means for using the world in the fight for joy: I see God's glory revealed in the things around me, and I help my body to become a partner in the fight for joy through rest, exercise and the refreshing beauty of God's good world.

You can read the rest at EQUIP books today - just click here.

image is from saturn at flickr

1 comment:

Rachach said...

Hi jean,
Just letting you know that I have skim read the last few posts on joy. I really enjoyed this one in particular. It is good to be reminded that we are creatures and that we need comforts and rest and relaxation. I often feel self-indulgent taking my children out to their grandparent's place regularly(who live in the country). But it has been the best thing for my mental health, which has in turn helped me spiritually, and to be a more godly wife and mother.
I hope you are going well.
Love Rachel