Healthy Body, Healthy Soul

I  was at a retreat this past weekend.  It was our annual women’s retreat.  You probably know the drill.  We have a speaker, eat a lot of good food, play games, relax and have fun.  At this retreat they advertised another retreat that is offered in the spring.  The spring retreat is a silent personal retreat.  There is no speaker except God.  The purpose of the other retreat is to spend about 36 hours with God.  Except for meals there is silence.  Except for meals the time is spent alone.  There is no extra food and no games.

During lunch our women’s director made a plug for this retreat.  I  followed it up with a personal plug.  I have been on the silent retreat many times.   It is time of stillness and silence with God.  The woman next to me said she didn’t think she could spend that much time with herself.  My thought was well, that is probably why you should go on this retreat – to learn to be alone and content with yourself.

Later the same woman was talking to someone about organic food, home grown vegetables, natural products and the like.  She was spending a lot of time and money putting the right stuff inside her body and her house.  She didn’t want to poison herself or her environment.  She was choosing to take good care of what she had.

I kept thinking about those two conversations as I drove home.  She looked very healthy.  Her outside was a picture of all the right things she had done to take care of herself.  But she was neglecting her soul and she didn’t seem to recognize a need to make that a part of her healthy lifestyle.

A good sign that God has something He wants to work on with us is our inability to spend time alone with Him.   In choosing to surround ourselves with the noise of the world we are avoiding the “noise” of our heart.  It is a noise that is whispering again and again, turn and follow me, turn and have a relationship with me, turn and sit in stillness with me.  I have great and wonderful things to tell you beginning with how much I love you.  Turn to me.

But at some level we believe that turning will involve a discussion of areas we don’t want to discuss.  So we hide in the noise of this world.  We focus on the media, and today’s list in order not to stop and listen to the still small voice of God.  We are afraid He will whisper judgment instead of love.  We are afraid He will produce guilt instead of grace. We are afraid He will ask us to give up our worldly attachments to provide more fellowship with Him.  And we are afraid of letting go of the known in order to live in the unknown.

When we pass away only the soul will be eternal.  The body will perish.  Which do you think is more important?