Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Hidden Treasure - WHELK SHELLS

1 Corinthians 6:19-20. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your body.

Nothing less then awestruck wonders. The beach never ceases to reveal magnificent artistry in sea life. Born with soft delicate bodies mollusks go about forming the hard outer shell I’ve come to marvel. The animal does not have a brain. Growth seems to occur as instructional DNA prompts particular cells along the mantle to excrete exact volumes of calcium carbonate to determine the unique shape. Unlike a turtle’s shell the hard exoskeleton of a Whelk shell is not alive. When the animal dies the shell remains. When I find a shell washed up on the beach it conjures in my inner being the sensation of a divine encounter. I am in awe of the sacred geometric shape.

Imagine an animal crafted significantly more intricate with a nervous system capable of complex thought and emotion. The body becomes the dwelling place for a soul that constructs action or apathy, courage or fear, love or strife, kindness or malice, wisdom or foolishness, service or selfishness, joy or despair, faith or haughtiness. By humbly choosing to confess our penchant toward the lesser outcome we open our heart to the belief in Jesus as a savior. He is a redeeming sacrifice for sinful life. A gift of grace to a soul that declares the disgrace of unkind thought, painful utterances and cruel behavior. By coming before God with our shame laid bare He will save us. As a result we become a new creation and by promise the temple for the indwelling Spirit of God.

In my everyday life I have a shell I collected from Kitty Hawk Beach that sits in a noticeable place to remind of this promise I have been given. As I glance at its artistry I am encouraged to treat my body as a holy place, a residence to be honored and respected. I chose a broken and worn shell so that I can be reminded of me before I was washed clean of my wrongdoing. Today I am a whole shell but I often spray paint my temple with graffiti. Each unclean act of anger or mean thought of ill will tarnishes the sanctuary of God as Spirit. God promises He will never leave me but a dirty home is not a place He wants to hang out. In a recurrent act of submission I wash the paint off the walls through repentance and my meek attempts at reconciliation.

If you provoke your mind to envision your body as a dwelling temple for the Spirit of God are you prompted to see it as a holy place?


As I ponder the question 'How do I honor God with my body?' I consider the following passages:

___ 2 Corinthians 10:5. Take captive every thought and hold it obedient to Christ.
___ James 5:9. Do not complain about one another.
___ 1 Corinthians 10:7. Do not over indulge ourselves with food and drink as an idol.
___ 1 Thessalonians 4:3. Avoid sexual immorality.
___ Ephesians 4:31. Get rid of bitterness, rage, anger and malice.

This list only begins to suggest ways we defile the holy home of God's Spirit. What are some passages you think on? 

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