I spent the night at the Golden Temple in Amritsar, India once - one of the holiest sites in Sikhism, and a house of worship open to all. White shining tiles everywhere. You could eat off the floor. Every inch was endlessly washed, and polished, and maintained. Gleaming. Sparkling. Pristine. Also in India: Taj Mahal was worth the hype. It was a long train ride to get to Agra, a little dirty dusty town. A friend (that I’ve never met before that day obviously) insisted I went before the sunrise to beat the crowds, and, boy.. was he right! He dropped me off at the gates, and I had the whole temple practically to myself for a few hours.
I lied on the sandy floor at The Temple of Wholyness at Burning Man - a huge intricate structure that was painstakingly built in the middle of the Nevada desert without nails, bolts, adhesives or fasteners of any kind. There were handwritten notes everywhere. Strangers’ memories. The Temple is burned down at the end of the week. Build it, use it, burn it. Talk about closure. Three temples. Sacred. Flawless. Perfect. Meanwhile, I live in a small old-ish bungalow - a patchwork of renovations and extensions and improvements. Small. Cozy. Lots of light. It’s hardly the same structure it was thirty years ago - more rooms, more space, but also, more things creaking and breaking. In 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, it says “do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” I mean… you lost me at “you are not your own”, but also… BODY AS A TEMPLE - that’s a lot of pressure. Sacred. Flawless. Perfect. “Can you love your body AND want to change it?” is a question I often hear. Well, of course. As long as you think about it in more practical terms - not as a temple, but as a bungalow. A temple is supposed to be sacred, flawless, perfect. Untouchable. Elevated. So beautiful. So exhausting. Body as a bungalow? Yeah, I think so. I can LOVE my bungalow, without needing it to be perfect. It’s cozy, it’s comfortable. It’s where I live. I don’t want to be too precious with it. I don’t want to have a heart attack every time I spill coffee (which is often). I can roll my eyes at the big scuff mark on the hardwood floor without it spoiling my day. I’ll move furniture when I’m bored. Major renovations will happen as needed. Until then, I’d like to keep it in basic working order, but not make a hobby out of it. I want to focus on living, not house improvements. My body is not a temple. It’s a bungalow. What about you? Is your body a temple? A shack? A cozy bungalow? A sports car? An amusement park? An annoying appendage? A pedestal for your brain? Is it a pet? A project? A beloved friend? Your archenemy?