Body Temple Part IV: On Rest and Dreams of the Marathon

US Navy 091006-N-0555B-289 Lt. Cmdr. Don Cross...
US Navy  Lt. Cmdr. Don Cross trains on the Kuakini Highway for the 2009 Ford Ironman World Championship triathlon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.


10 Comments Add yours

  1. Once again, I am inspired and awed by your insigtful post, ASD! It’s so cool that you’re thinking about rest right now — that’s exactly what my husband and I have been talking about. One bit of info I didn’t know: God was decidedly upset with the Jewish folks for not respecting the Sabbath and resting. I think that’s because — like you said — it isn’t about rules, but about balance and celebrating accomplishments in love. Rest shows us all the treasure we already have. Rest allows us to see where God is leading us. Rest gives us more energy to go there. I so love how you connected all of this exercise. It makes perfect sense. Shelby in Montana.

    1. asd539 says:

      Thanks so much Shelby, I’m glad it connected with you. I’m hoping it will connect with more. God placed it on my heart when I watch a close friend go 100 miles an hour and really has a short time for rest. I plan on emailing this to her. 🙂

  2. johnedoe says:

    i am so glad that you decided to write blog posts!!!….what you wrote here is something that many of us have “read” before (as are many verses in the bible) but not many of us have actually “heard” the words.
    as for our not hearing, there are a few different reasons or causes for such, or, there may be only one??? that “one” is a story for another day…………..for there is something else that i’d like to share with you now……………the “first” is what you just wrote,(the 7 day “importance”,…or, “necessity” may be a more accurate view)….and the “second” being about the prodigal son…………..
    but, even before those two,….(which by the way, whatever i, or another, writes about God, must be pondered and double checked by us with what the bible has written in it, or at least, this what i myself do)….i want to toss this in with the hope (intention???) that it kindles a spark of thought. it is about “circumcision.”
    babies are (or they were then??? i don’t know how and when it’s done in today’s world) circumcised on,…the “EIGHTH” day. hhhmmmmm, i think there might be a few different things to ponder concerning this “eighth day thing.”
    on the eighth day (yet again, double check, and in doing so you may discover more to this) when a (obviously, “male” child, lol) is circumcised,…there is less bleeding, and, more rapid healing. (i am pretty sure that this is a medical and scientifically “proven” fact. if circumcising is done on the 7th or 9th day, “or any other days, than the 8th”, it is a whole different ball game.)
    now, whatever else that you, or others, discover concerning circumcision,…i would be willing to hazard a guess, that it backs up, or corroborates the following. as i said, this is just my “hunch.”

    after, and because of, the baby has gone “completely” through “the 7 days” of necessary and perfect (GODLY) order, “BEFORE” the circumcision. the baby has a certain strength and resistance, and thus, he heals quicker. to me, this would be considered to be a good thing. and i would imagine if the baby could speak, he’d probably tell us the same. lol

    david, my email is if you would drop me a line, please…….

    i’ll post (comment) the rest of my thoughts, and or biblical reflections asap……….thanks again, and i also would like to say that i truly hope that you and all others see a simple and healthy, thus, a healing and strengthening truth, such as i have concerning the “direct similarities” (what may be called universal and Godly truths???) of “the 7 days of the prodigal”……..

    1. asd539 says:

      Thanks for the comment my anonymous friend. Sounds like a great idea for one of your blogs. I am curious to see what I come up with in my research. There are some godly implications in the thoughts you have on circumcision. Too cool, I’ll email you soon. 🙂

  3. johnedoe says:

    hey david,…i was planning on blogging on my page what your post is about. (concerning “the 7 days of the prodigal”, which i am referring to what i am writing) i would like to introduce it with your post?????? and, if you like what i have written and agree that it is, “scriptural and encouraging, thus strengthening to all of our faith”, perhaps you may want to do a reblog??? lemmee know, ok? thanks

    1. asd539 says:

      Sounds like a great idea. Can’t wait to read it. 🙂

  4. johnedoe says:

    Ok,…a few different thoughts first,….

    This is the DAY that The Lord has made….

    Choose this DAY whom you will serve….

    Give us this DAY our DAILY bread….

    Yes,…DAY is the common theme that I am sharing here.

    Take no thought for TOMORROW, as TOMORROW etc, etc….


    ONE DAY. A lot of very important things can happen in one day. Actually, everything can, and does, happen in one day. ONE DAY IS CRUCIAL. When and if we view it as such. As Jesus tells us to. Could we say that Jesus, “commands” us to???

    DOES JESUS SAY,…GIVE US THIS “WEEK” OUR “WEEKLY” BREAD????? I hope that your answer to this question may serve as “food for thought.” (a lil’ lol)

    So,…with that little (HUGE!!!) truth said,…here we go.

    Jesus is God and God is Jesus. The alpha and the omega,…THE BEGINNING AND THE END.

    Along with the scriptural view and purpose of the Holy Spirit, we have what is referred to by many, as the “TRINITY.“

    Now, as for the trinity view, I am just reflecting based on what I have read. In looking at it from the “alpha and the omega” point of view, we have what can/could be referred to/seen as,…A PERFECT CIRCLE. etc, etc,…

    Now,…I’m not going to get in to all the little details concerning this now. It just needed to be included for what I have to say that follows,….


    Yup,…the story of the prodigal son is a very popular and commonly read story. I have heard it talked about in many different churches I have been to. But there was something that was missing 4 out of 5 times which actually helps to make this story understandable to those who hear it. Which is this,…just WHAT EXACTLY DOES “PRODIGAL” MEAN????????

    Well???? Prodigal? Every one of us knows that word, right!?? I mean, we use it in our every day speech at least twenty times a day, don’t we??? Duh!!! Uhh??? I DON’T. I have in fact, NEVER used it in my normal life. If not for the bible, I would have NEVER even heard it in the first place. Period. So??? Movin right along now…
    Now, the closest thing that I have “heard” as to it’s definition, (through other preachers) is that it means “wasteful.” but, is that all it means?

    prod·i·gal [próddig’l]
    1. extravagantly wasteful: spendthrift or extravagant to a degree bordering on recklessness
    2. producing generous amounts: giving or producing something in large amounts
    3. wasting parental money: spending parental money wastefully, but returning home to a warm welcome

    n (plural prodigals)
    spendthrift: somebody who spends money, especially money from his or her parents, wastefully

    Early 16th century. Via French late Latin prodigalis Latin prodigus “wasteful” prodigere “drive away, squander” agere “to drive”

    Have you ever heard, “A FOOL AND HIS MONEY ARE SOON PARTED???” (the beatles taught me this saying…jus sayin…)

    waste·ful (wáystful)
    1. extravagant: using resources unwisely
    2. causing waste: causing waste or devastation

    Have you ever heard that,…”HASTE,…MAKES WASTE?????”……

    When these two dictionary definitions are combined,…I believe that Is where the answer is…I’ll explain…

    When we read the bible stories, if we really, or more-so, accurately, want to know what they mean, then there is something we need to take into consideration. In our accurately understanding them, we can “then” use the treasures of these stories in our lives TO OUR BENEFIT.

    To truly BENEFIT from them, then we “MUST” KNOW EXACTLY what certain and specific, especially the many VAGUE, AMBIGUOUS, and thus, MYSTERIOUS, words used in the bible, truly MEAN. and I say this “definitely” so!!! lol

    Lol. This is day one stuff folks. I actually did learn something in grade school! Lol speaking of grade school???
    When I was a kid, I was all about Saturday morning!!! That was my time! Many of you know exactly why I say this! Saturday morning cartoons! Yeah buddy!!! A box of sugar filled cereal and I was good to go!!!

    Do you remember the cartoon of the Tasmanian devil??? It was one of my favorites! Why???
    In the answer to this question, you may see exactly, and or, clearly, the life view (DAY VIEW???) of the prodigal son.

    And by the way,…perhaps more valuable to us as chrstians, and just as humans in general,…WE “MAY” VERY WELL,…SEE,…OUR,…SELF.

    Our “self”,…in the course of just one single day,….

    Ok,…more to follow,…

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