Apr 29 2012
“Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock”~~Mathew 7:24 (King James Version)
Yesterday I rested on my Sabbath. Why a Sabbath rest? Well, a runner needs all the help she/he can get. Rest is imperative for regenerating the body, mind, and the Spirit. Training to run long miles can put a strain on all three of these. A good runner needs to know how and when to rest, and a divine Sabbath rest could be all you need to get you back on the road again the following week.
We are accustomed to living in a society where things are constantly happening and moving. The news, Facebook, Twitter, a meeting, the party next door, all could amount to twenty-four hour day of activity if you are constantly tuned into these. We work 8 to 12 to 16 hours shifts sometimes. Then, we go home to do the house chores, pay the bills, watch the news, and listen to the madness people sometimes bother you with on the phone. As a result of these, one could get little rest. Our minds sometimes tend to work incessantly. All this just made my head spin, like Chucky of that movie Friday 13th.
We were taught we have to work, raise the children, cook the food, pay the bills, keep the job, walk the dog, while little emphasis has been placed on the necessity of rest. Part of my childhood was spent on the beautiful island of Roatan, Honduras. Living the island life is a much different from a city. Island life sometimes starve for the action and convenience, and city life craves rest and relaxation. Some people have to wait all year-long for two blessed weeks of paid vacation to get some rest and relaxation. Because we are so accustomed to going, going, going, it is how we also conduct our vacations. Afterwards, we need a vacation because of the vacation! I am speaking from experience here. When I am on vacation, I spend much time trying to fit a year’s fun activities into two weeks. Then when you get back, you look like a raccoon and move like a snail. This is exactly why, every week, I try to get me my Sabbath day rest.
The word Sabbath in Latin, Greek and Hebrew, means “to rest.” Christians believe Sabbath is a gift from God to mankind since the days of creation. In Exodus 20:8-11 (among other scriptures), the Bible admonished us to rest on the Seventh Day. Same as it says God rested (with His eyes opened, of course). Many people have their own personal interpretation of this. Since I am a running nurse and not a prolific theologian, I will stick with what I was taught and what I am inspired to do. All I can tell you is that from a child I’ve reaped the benefits of resting on my Sabbaths. My faithful folks and Bible taught me that it begins Friday at sunset and ends Saturday at sunset. When mankind rest, we also let the land rest.
I once read a book by Rabbi Abraham Hershel called the Sabbath and which highly impress me. It was beautiful in that late Dr. Herschel described the Sabbath not only as a gift and a covenant which God gave his people, but a “sacred moment” set aside to God. He made it seems that keeping the Sabbath gives one the power to stop time, putting a “pause” in time, to reap Divine benefits. I find that having a Sabbath rest can unify a fractured, tired, mentally drained and disfigured Spirit. It gives my Spirit the power to heal, transform, renew, and unite. It empowered one to stop the wheels turning in your mind, thereby making you feel reborn. Having a Sabbath rest is regenerative.
On my Sabbath I try to shut the world down. It is my tradition to go to church, but some days (Sorry Mama!) I have church at the beach. In good company of the birds, butterflies, bees, and a few old folks (they know how to have church too). On my Sabbaths I do my best to dismiss any thoughts of bills, man problems, work-related problems (Don’t call me into work. I would only be a warm body), miles I plan on running the next week, or gossips from the nosy neighbor. I try to let nothing bother me. It’s like being in a meditation mode, gently watching and dismissing any thoughts that would ruffle the Spirit. I also try get some good shut eyes. Sometimes this latter part poses a challenge. One of my elder sisters, Sarah, demands her time with me on the phone, even on Sabbaths. She gets’ her Sabbath rest because she exists on West-Coast time whereas I live three hours ahead of her on Eastern Standard Time. When I am trying to burst a nose on my pillow (Sabbath afternoon nap), she’s just getting out of church. Wired! And she blows up my phone until I answer. Lawd..!
A runner needs Sabbath rest. You can search the scriptures for yourself, your holy books, or the internet on this subject and will find many enriching testimonies about its benefits. I find that I do myself a disservice when I dismiss this pause in time. When I do, the week becomes a continuous blur, and I feel as if I’m working against the currents like a Salmon does.
Here are some benefits of getting a day off as a runner, which day I choose as Saturdays, my Sabbath:
- Help replenish the glycogen store in your liver
- Allows time for muscle fibers to be repaired
- Helps you recover and improve your runs
- Rest your joint from the pounding on the ground/pavement
- Helps prevent injury due to misuse of connective tissue/joints/bones
OYE! Yesterday I went to church but skipped the socialization afterwards and got my Sabbath rest. This running nurse invites you to build your running foundation on a solid ground. Try a Sabbath rest. Rest is a critical and most important day in my training for any marathon. Go on. Keep your Sabbaths. Rest. You will not regret it. Let us know of your experience afterwards.
P.S. Yesterday I also read a poem which I wrote after a long shift that reminded me why I need a Sabbath rest. Here it is. Enjoy!
GOING. LOOKING. SEARCHING.Wash the dust from between your toes andsit downWipe the thoughts from your vagabond mind andpour some teaBrush the sweat from between your brows andlay thine hands on thy quivering kneesTo reach thy silencecalling you from the blessed day you opened your wandering eyes and took on the toil of seeking
You, always going…even when the wheel of your weary soul cries outYou, always looking…even when your hazy eyes grow dim with doubtYou, always searching...when deep down in your Being you know thatwhat keep you going, looking, and searching resides withinThis In-Spirited calling to regressionworks day and night to keep you from great sinSTOP! Breathe. Be still. Enjoy the time given