During my training for a one-hundred-mile ultramarathon, I learned the value of rest.
Previously, when I prepared for marathons or triathlons, I worked out six to seven days a week and ran myself into the ground.
I hired a coach for the one-hundred-miler. He didn’t want me working out more than five days a week. If I didn’t get enough rest, my muscles wouldn’t complete the planned workouts. I admit, I panicked.
By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. This verse highlights the importance of rest. Even God rested on the seventh day, so why do I think I can run full throttle for seven days a week? I can’t, and God is teaching me the importance of personal restoration.
Other than the seventh day, when else should we make it a point to rest? Here are a few areas when added rejuvenation is needed.
1. After a big effort
This was the big one for me last year. After tackling workout after workout while training for a one-hundred-mile ultramarathon, I didn’t feel like pushing through anything (not even grocery shopping). I took a break from running and any exercise which forced me to “dig deep.” I pursued some other goals, but relaxed dramatically on my exercise goals.
2. Stress in other areas of life
Sometimes, we have to cool our jets in one area of life to make room for added stress in another. Work life can affect our physical activity, training can take time away from spiritual pursuits, and sickness can limit our professional time. Focusing on one area of life when it demands the extra attention for the short term is okay. Long-term imbalance, however, can cause wear and tear beyond repair.
3. Attending to the needs of family and friends
Sickness or interpersonal problems of those we love can also require rest as we tend to their needs. Shelving a project or goal temporarily to assist a friend or family member allows us to do what needs to be done. We can always come back to our goals once the situation is resolved.
Building rest into our schedule is important. Rest provides necessary healing and generates new ideas and new perspectives. When we take time to rest, we allow momentum to build as the healing process completes.
Check your schedule to see if it includes rest.
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
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