There’s that phrase in the Bible where it goes make your body a slave, and where Paul goes I beat my body into submission so I don’t miss out on the prize. They may both be in the same place. I’m uncertain; I’m without a concordance to check where it says these things. But I’m pretty sure it does. This is about to get a little bit untasteful perhaps but I’ll press on because it was kind of profound to me at the time.
I was walking along a walking/biking/riding track trail near where I live. It’s quite nice and goes through a lot of farming country and it used to be a railway line was. I try to walk it a couple of times a week to get some exercise. (Though with the end of daylight savings I will have less opportunity unless I get up early and that is not going to happen). Anyway this particular evening I was about half an hour from home and pretty suddenly I really needed to go to the toilet. It was that desperate pit of the stomach aching. And I was half an hour walk from home with no toilet between here and there.
So I started making my way back after ruling out using the bushes as temporary drop zones. And for 25 minutes (seeming I hastened somewhat) I beat my body into submission and made it a slave. My mind was in control and though my body let me know it was very, very unhappy my overruling of its urgent need it was my slave. And then when I was thinking about this situation it became clear to me that this was the kind of single-mindedness and overruling of desires, whether physical or emotional, I should be using at many other times.
I’m glad to report I made it back to the toilet and learned (or should I say was given) a valuable lesson along the way.