Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit? - 1 Corinthians 6:19 (NIV)
I drive more slowly these days. And not only because I’m getting older.
After 12 years and 190,000 miles, our trusty '97 Explorer is showing signs it’s replacement time. The suspension is about shot, she klunks when I make a turn, the shock absorbers are tired, the AC hasn’t worked for years, and my husband tells me the whomp-whomp-whomp when I brake indicates a warped rotor. I want to extend her time with us. So when I travel the interstate, I set the cruise control for 10 mph under the speed limit, then watch all the traffic blow right by. I don’t mind one bit. In fact, I’m more relaxed as I drive.
But there’s always the question in the back of my mind: Will she get me to my destination and back home, or will she strand me in the middle of nowhere?
In spite of her deteriorating condition, I’m not ready to give up my Explorer just yet. The comfy leather seats aren’t showing signs of wear and tear. I love the roominess of the interior, and I trust her on snow and ice-covered roads. So my husband does what he can to keep her in running form. Me, I pray every time I get behind the wheel, “Lord, please make my Explorer roadworthy and trustworthy as long as we need it.”
But when I notice how she leans to one side in a level parking lot, when I hear the roughness of the engine when she starts, and when I wince at the rust-caused holes, I know the time is coming soon.
I’m a lot like my Explorer—my suspension is about shot, I klunk when I move sometimes, my shock absorbers aren’t what they used to be, I sputter when it’s time to get moving, and I protest when I have to stop and I don’t want to. I, too, move a lot more slowly these days, and, funny, I don’t mind it one bit. I wonder why everyone is in such a hurry.
Ha! And I used to wonder if folks sitting leisurely on their front porches when I’d blow by didn’t have anything better to do. I’ll never be like that, I’d think. But now I like to sit and watch the world go by, too.
Maybe because I’ve learned the importance of keeping my body (like my trusty Explorer) in the best condition possible. Since last year’s health challenges, I’ve trimmed my schedule and have made health of body, mind, and spirit a top priority. The Bible tells us our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit. You don’t let the temple get run down—you keep it in top condition, right? Things last a lot longer if they’re taken care of.
So I call my ER-ER program (eat right-exercise regularly) “temple keeping.” My husband says it’s more like temple rebuilding, but never mind him.
Roadworthy and trustworthy. That’s what I pray my Explorer—and I—will be.
Lord, help me to keep myself roadworthy and trustworthy as long as You need me to be. Amen.