Thursday, February 3, 2011

Physical versus Non-Physical

Spirituality in the military is an issue that works on both the material and immaterial. To be in the military, an individual must make sure that the material part of his or her body is in very good condition. However, this article is focusing on the importance of spiritual fitness. In this article spiritual fitness must be worked out to find one's purpose, living out that purpose, and being at peace with oneself.
Today in class, we talked about the material versus the immaterial aspects of a person. The point was made that we need to focus on both the material and immaterial. I feel that this can be a challenge at both ends of the spectrum. If one turns on the television, flips through a magazine, or drives past a billboard, the material of life is all that is shown. We want to make sure that we look the best. We focus on what we do or do not eat. Our educational background or job status can give an instantaneous account of how much we are worth. The relationships we have with other people can increase or decrease our reputation. There's so much more though! There are a person's thoughts, personality, and emotions. There is also a desire within each person beyond himself or herself. As a Christian, I know that this hunger is for God. Yet, how often do we escape getting to know the beautiful essence of someone's immaterial being because we have already made judgments on the material being only? On the flip side, I believe that it can also be easy to put too much confidence in the immaterial as well. As much as I love God, I am still a finite human being. Therefore, I must do, think, feel, and relate to everything through my finiteness. Knowing this, it is vital that I take care of the material make-up of my body and mind to the best of my ability. Getting enough sleep, eating wholesome foods, exercising, working, and building friendships may not seem very spiritual, but it can have an impact on me.
At the root, I believe that the material and immaterial parts of a human are intertwined. At times, one part may seem more functional than the other part. Yet to function to the greatest capacity, a person must give proper attention to both the material and immaterial make-up of oneself. Just as a soldier works very hard at maintaining an ideal functioning of his or her own physical body, it allows one to do what he or she was made to do - protect and fight. Therefore, our bodies are instruments that are to be maintained and used so that we can do what we were called to do - love God and love people.


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  2. I was encouraged to read the article on Spirituality in the military. I also believe that there must be a balance in all areas of our life. Some people do neglect the in-material being and forget that our spiritual growth is something that does not happen instantly. It is a process that requires discipline, commitment, Hope, and an awareness that ignoring our need to know the truth, will hinder us from truly being whole. It is interesting to think how until we begin to grow in our faith and draw closer to God then we can look at the need to take care of our in-material being. Before I began to know of Christ, I lived my life thinking I was ok, but it was through Christ that I realized how empty I really was. I am currently trying to get back in top physical shape, but the difference from now and what I used to do to get in shape is that I am making time to also strengthen my faith muscles. It is through my faith that I can now use my physical training as an act of worship.


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