Made to Rest

Once again, I got some eternal perspective from running. It’s no wonder that running is such a common Biblical metaphor. It’s a great model for the Christian life.

Since I started running again after giving birth to Lizzy (at around 6 weeks), I’ve been hitting the treadmill pretty hard, trying to get back to my old running self. I’ve got a great little napper, so I could count on a 30 minute run each day. Before I knew it, I was running 7 days a week, with longer runs on the weekends.

At first, I was making dramatic advances in my running speed and distance. At that rate, I was expecting to be back to my old self in no time. But then something unexpected happened. I started slowing down.

Yes, forgetting to turn off the incline played a part, but something else was going on.

It turns out, I needed rest.

I’ve realized this about other aspects of my life, making one day a week a sabbath (typically Sunday), to renew for the week ahead. But with running, I forgot that my body also needs a break.

For the past few weeks, I’ve been taking one day off a week and have been doing overall better, but I still wasn’t making the gains I hoped to be making.

I got a forced break last week with the stomach flu. I couldn’t run for a full week. I was too exhausted.

And when I got back into it this week, I’ve noticed that my time/speed has been great! Better than it has been for awhile.

I admit, I feel like a weakling, taking breaks from running each week. One training book I read for distance running took the extreme approach of suggesting no days off. The author claimed that you should be able to run every single day. And frankly, I like running so much, I’d rather run each day. So I’d been ignoring the rest of the books out there and following that guy’s advice (he probably had a physical breakdown after he published his book).

But when I compare my breaks to my weekly sabbaths, I’m reminded that taking a break isn’t a bad thing. God didn’t give us the sabbath after the fall of man. It’s not a product of our sinfulness. God himself instituted a break when he was creating the world…the whole 7th day thing. And that was before Adam and Eve messed it up for the rest of us.

I shouldn’t feel like a loser, that I need to take breaks. The fastest, strongest, most powerful being in the universe chose to take a break. And we’re made in his image.

From what do you need a regular sabbath?

Published in: on March 10, 2011 at 5:57 pm  Comments (1)  
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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Rest has always been tricky for me until I went through a very serious illness. I’ve learned over the years that my body, soul, and spirit need rest and they will shout it out. Today, I am okay with rest and having margins in my life. Thanks for the reminder.

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