Though I have talked at length about the spiritual benefits of training for a marathon, there were many aspects of my spiritual life that I either neglected or simply couldn’t get to because I was in training. Here is a list of things that I look forward to now that I have a little more extra time and energy:
1. Reading my Bible – Of course I read my Bible when I was in training but it wasn’t consistent. I have had a desire for a long time to discover the Bible in a fresh way. I would suspect that this journey to discovery will appear on this blog occasionally.
2. Sleep – I believe that sleep is a spiritual discipline in the same way that fasting or the Sabbath are spiritual disciplines. Getting more rest is our way of saying that we do not have to conquer the world because it will still be there when we wake up. I have a problem with overdoing and undersleeping. I hope to get more rest in the coming months.
3. Quality Recreational Reading – One way that I remove myself from the busy and mind jumbling environment of work is to take a book of fiction and get out of the building where I work and read during my lunch break. Being a committed marathon trainee, I spent most of my extra reading time on books on running and marathons. I look forward to finishing life redeeming works of fiction such as Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis.
Because of my work, I have carpal tunnel syndrome and a strange pain down the side of my right leg. I enjoy playing basketball but I have a finger that is trying to go the wrong direction because it has been jammed so many times. I also like to jog but I still have scars on both of my knees because of falls in the morning darkness.
I am describing to you the dangers of making a living and recreation. Work related physical side effects are common but from what I can tell, there are no negative side effects to the spiritual life. Prayer may make us sleepy but that isn’t causing us any harm. Serving others may be time-consuming but very rarely are you in danger of physical ailments. Worship may take a little strength for standing or hand raising but I have never seen anyone faint from worship exhaustion, at least not in my church. Scripture memorization may be a little tedious but our brains don’t cramp up from being overworked.
Working on our spiritual life requires a little sacrifice and a multitude of rewards. So before you start to complain about how hard it is to pray everyday or read scripture, go run two miles or spend all day loading trucks and tell me that your spiritual practices are causing you discomfort.
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