I went to a Christian college that emphasized the importance of cultivating not only our minds but our spirits and bodies as well. It was the idea of being a Whole Man (which is better than being a manhole, as some occasionally quipped).
That sounds like a great idea since none of us are simply disembodied brains floating around (regardless of that one Wonder Woman episode that had an old guy's brain trying to take over the Olympic athlete’s body - season 3, episode 12). And, obviously as Christians we believe in building up our spirits through prayer, Bible study, etc.
Even the idea of developing our physical health seems pretty cool. Of course, you can grade students on their academic achievements, and you can require them to go to chapel (because at my college, the wages of sin was 50 bucks. For every third time you missed chapel, $50.). However, how do you ensure that students are working on their physical health?
It is at this point that a truly diabolical scheme was hatched. This travesty was ironically named The Fun Run (because what could be more fun than jogging three miles on a Saturday morning?). Every semester, every student was required to do a timed three mile run. We were also required take a PE class every semester. Getting a good time on our run was a ridiculously huge part of that PE grade.
I will grudgingly admit that I think it is important to take good care of our bodies. I might even be willing to go so far as to say that these disciplines might have been good for us. Maybe.
But, as a recovering performance junkie, I’m glad that God is not grading me on a curve or recording my speed in some cosmic gradebook just ready to stomp on me or kick me when I am too slow.
He walks with me on this long, long journey. He is my life coach who is always leading and guiding me through. He helps me pace myself, and He picks me up with I stumble. I’ve really had to come to grips with the fact that God is not so wrapped up in my performance (how I look to others or the level at which I measure up to expectations) as I sometimes am.
He wants my heart. He calls us to love and serve Him wholeheartedly but not in some kind of OCD-fueled perfectionism. It really is about this unique relationship with Him. Now, that is where the real fun is.