Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore, the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. Exodus 20:8-11
Christine Caine in her book Run To Win brings up the very important point about running and that is runners need to have rest time. Her husband Nick and herself lead a very busy life, but take time out to have family vacations and at least one day of rest during the week. If rest is as important to God for Him to take a day off, we really need to be aware of our limitations. This month and year marks my fifth anniversary of my journey through weight loss. I have gone non-stop as far as my own running has gone and am paying a price for my lack of rest. As a runner sometimes, it’s good to just take a week off and not run, let your body heal. One of the common injuries a runner faces is the piriformis injury. It’s a small muscle of the hip that holds the upper leg onto the hip. It helps with the outward rotation of the leg. Literally when you have this injury, your butt hurts. I started developing this pain a year ago and it doesn’t go away. It has slowed me down considerably in my run and my fitness goals. The point here is had I taken time to rest my body and stretch that area in my leg I would not be here explaining it to you, so thank God for the injury and a good example.
For our believer’s marathon rest is a time that we can reflect and think about where our race is headed. The God of the universe took time out to rest and look at what He created. Maybe in His reflection He realized a need for a savior to cover all the sins we will be doing to keep Him from wiping us all out. God is no doubt a just God and can at one word destroy us, but the biggest thing to remember is before He is a just God He loves us so much that He doesn’t want to do that. We have to accept His offering of redemption before we can understand the full measure of His love for us. As we take time to rest and reflect, we can see weakness in our run and put forth strategies to get us on the path for a stronger finish. Sometimes rest can show us a pain that we did not realize was there until we take time to sit down.
Part of the rest for a runner is to stretch. Static stretching is so important after a run. It should happen 30 minutes after a run, right in the middle of the rest period. Stretching helps with flexibility and flexibility helps with keeping the range of motion in the proper form. My range of motion is limited because every time I lift my leg I feel the pain in my piriformis. In our marathon for life, we need to take time to stretch ourselves and be flexible in order to continue on God’s path that He has set before us. Being flexible can show us new avenues that God may have for us. If we don’t take the time to stretch we will never know how flexible we will become. God wants us to be flexible for Him because we can adapt to different situations in a calm matter without panic. Just as runners deal with the stress of running, we can deal with stress in general if we are willing to be flexible and be stretched. Being healthy in our stretching will not hamper our range of motion for what God has planned for us.
Reflection can be a powerful part of rest for a runner. We can look back at our training and our event and think of ways we could improve and do better the next time. Then adapt that into our training. The same is in our race for life, we need to reflect on what has happened the last 6 days and see what we could do better and what we can improve in our life. Reflection can show us how our run can be better and there is always room for improvement as we are still in the flesh.
The last part of rest is one of the most important and this is not part of my illustration of the runner verses life runner. Runners as well as all people need sleep. Eight hours of sleep a night can make a big difference in your health, your emotional side, and your spiritual side. Sleep helps us in so many physical ways. The dream side is so important it helps us deal with things that our subconscious picks up as we deal with our daily life. I can attest for lack of dream sleep because I had severe sleep apnea that kept me from having a lot of dreams during the night. I would wake up with a headache and not be able to function as well as I could have during the day. If you limit your sleep, you add a lot of stress and drama to your life. Sleep is so important.
There are other aspects of rest we could talk about, but stretching ourselves, reflecting on what we can do better, and sleep are at the top of the list. If we keep going a million miles an hour, we can miss things, events, and people in our lives. We can miss something God may want us to see. Rest can give us ideas and thoughts that we should act on for God to point us in the right direction. Another thing to keep in mind is rest is part of the 10 commandments and we are still accountable to the 10 commandments on how our believers marathon should be run.
© [David Howard], [David’s Body Temple], 2011-2015.