By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done. Genesis 2:2-3
As I have stated before my favorite exercise is running. I never liked to run before, but to me right now it’s the best and closest time I spend with God. When I began running I got so passionate about it and exercise in general I wanted to do two things, a marathon and a Ironman Triathlon. My first running 5K got me to that passion. I was thinking how awesome is this running with all these people around me and we all had the same thing in mind, getting to the finish line as strong as we could. I never have dreamed of winning because to me winning was finishing. I put forth that same philosophy when I did my first and only (So far) half marathon, which is 13.1 miles of sheer exercise enthusiasts joy. By the way, the marathon is 26.2 miles and the Ironman Triathlon is a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride and a 26.2 mile run, done in that order. A marathon is an elite athletes dream where an Ironman is that dream on steroids and crack. Both are quite an accomplishment and very extreme. Over the last few years there has begun a debate on whether this much exercise is good for the heart. For me, my cardiologist has made it clear that anything past 13.1 miles he cannot give me a blessing on. So, the dreams of a marathon and Ironman are now just that, dreams. Also the reality has hit home about the amount of training it takes to do these events and money for them. Right now at this point in my life they will stay a dream. I’m not disappointed though, because God has taught me something important by being aware of this weakness in my heart and the debate on whether too much of a good thing is a bad thing.
I always turn to the bible to get a better understanding of certain topics and the topic I am discussing here is this idea of rest. As you can see in the above verse God rested on the seventh day and made it holy. The question becomes did the creator of all things get taxed as He was creating the universe and everything in it? Did He hit a brick wall like a long distance runner in a marathon and had to regroup before He finished the creation? Did almighty God need a snooze? I would answer this with a resounding NO! Nowhere in the above passage does it say that God was tired so He rested. It only says He rested the seventh day from all the work He had done. God’s work is tireless because God is motivated by love. He was creating a perfect creation with love in mind the whole time He was doing it. I really believe He sat back and marveled at all He created and reflected on His greatest creation; man and woman. He knew we would become fleshly beings and so He made a day that we can worship and reflect on Him so that we can become more like His son.
My whole point in the discussion on marathon and Ironman training and lack of time and physical ability is the idea of rest and it’s importance in our lives. We can be going 100 miles an hour for God in everything we do, but if we don’t take time out to rest we will eventually fall apart. Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. That’s why we have a Sabbath day, and God made it part of the 10 commandments. That’s why God has put a great cardiologist and incredible nurse and personal trainer in my life to keep me anchored in understanding that these events are not something that will be beneficial to my future. I have a passion for running and physical activity, but I can’t let that passion supersede the need my body has to have for rest. The 10 commandments are not a list of dos and don’t s, they are a list of how to have unconditional love for God, ourselves and others. Keeping the Sabbath day holy is a way to love ourselves unconditionally. If we look at the previous blog, it’s still a question of balance. Burnout happens two ways. The first is we are not in God’s will but ours and we are doing the service under our own power. The second way is we pour way to much time into the service and don’t take the time to rest and reflect on what we are doing. Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing and we can get burned out on a ministry. So, God being the example showed us that we need to rest and have a Sabbath time. Find that balance between work, ministry, family and rest. When you find that balance you will have more energy to do more in a shorter period of time.