For most of my life I have had a twinge in my big toe. Most days it feels no worse that a few grains of sand in one’s shoe, an annoyance I can easily ignore. But occasionally, especially if I have not made time to exercise or if I have gained a little weight, the pain becomes annoying, demanding my attention, adversely affecting everything else I might do, including prayer.
I’ve been told that the twinge in my toe results from a spur on my spine that presses on a nerve at about where my belt encircles my waist. Thus if I eat too much, my pants get tighter and press that nerve against that spur, and the small twinge in my toe demands my attention.
On the other hand doing a few exercises several times a week strengthens my back, protecting that nerve. Similarly, eating sensibly reduces stresses on my spine.
The human body is an amazing machine with highly connected parts. So that the health of one part of the body affects the entire body and even our souls. For when our bodies are our of tune, the physical discord affects our ability to think and to pray. When my toe hurts, and usually my back at the same time, creative reflection becomes difficult at best.
Thus the first step to loving God and connecting with the Holy Spirit is to take care of the amazing body that God has given you.
You surely know that your body is a temple where the Holy Spirit lives.
The Spirit is in you and is a gift from God.
You are no longer your own. God paid a great price for you.
So use your body to honor God.
— 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (CEV)