So, I'm still shakin' it! You must know how absolutely not sexy I am when it comes to this. I do it because it is a super great work-out. I must be honest, I do not love working-out for an hour. I enjoy it, yes. However, there are other things I could do for an hour that would bring me far greater joy. You know what I love about that hour? I sweat. I work my abs. I move my entire body. I am alone. There is always cool down. Sometimes I can feel a blog coming on. Seriously. If I am having a hard time liking something, or something is funny or strange...there is a blog lurking in there somewhere. Throughout my shaking (BTW everything shakes at Zumba!)I was thinking what it was. I kept looking at my watch, I looked at the clock. I was looking forward to the cool down. I kept working as hard as I could, but I knew that before long the lights would turn out, the music would change and I'd be inhaling and exhaling. What is the blog? Let me make just one more point.
I am not a physical trainer. I am not even physically fit, for that matter! However, the people I know, that are, would agree when I say that the stretching before and the cool down after are just as important as the hard core sweat. The cool down matters. If I were to just leave after working out and skip that, I would be receiving an incomplete work-out.
Over the last year I have been struggling with what a "Sabbath" is. Does that mean that I can't go out to eat? Does that mean that everyone has to take a nap and if they don't we are all in sin? (No, but it feels like sin sometimes when we don't!) I've read and studied it a bit and feel like I am in process, but my recent study with Anson helped me tremendously. (I will, again, urge you to study Kay Arthur's kids studies with your children). We are studying the first two chapters of Genesis and we learned about the Sabbath a couple of weeks ago. Do you know what the word "rested" means? This is as in Genesis 2:2, "By the seventh day God completed His work which he had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all of His work which He had done." Rested: shabat or shabath or shavath (shaw-bath') means to cease, desist, rest, leave off, to bring to an end. (That came straight out of the book) When I read that for the first time it totally changed the way I thought of God and the Sabbath. I had been thinking that God was just pooped. Of course He rested, He had been quite busy! We learned that those were real 24 hour days, and He got alot accomplished. He did way more than wash, dry, fold, and put all of the laundry away! (Although, let's all give ourselves a pat on the back if that gets done in a 24 hour day!) God was NOT tired. God was finished. He had provided for everyone and everything. The needs of creation had been met. We see that God blessed and sanctified that day while He also rested. God set that day apart.
So, I learned that God was not really tired, He was finished. The other part that changed the way I view that day is that all of the needs had been met. There was no reason to continue. God provided for everything. My needs have been met. Do you realize the order in which Creation was created? Even the stars had a place before they were made. Man was created last because God was getting everything prepared for him. From the very beginning He has been my provider (I think I have a post about that...Jehovah Jireh maybe). I can rest, because He did.
So, what is my principle? God worked all week long. The work was complete. I must work hard (Colossians 3:17) during the week with the prize in mind...the cool down. I can struggle throughout the week. I can wash, dry, fold, scrub, prepare, teach, train, discipline, plan, shop...work...work...work...all because God has designed a day for me to be finished. He has planned, in His infinite wisdom a day for me to observe Him as my Maker, my Redeemer, my Provider. By stopping on that day, I am recognizing that He is my God and I am His child. My needs are met, in Him and Him alone. There is a day for me to sit with Him. To be with Him. To adore Him for being everything that I cannot be.
That's another thing about the cool-down. I'm not nearly as haphazard when it comes to that. I have to focus. We are slower and we have to make sure that we are stretching certain parts of our body. We have to keep our back flat, our head above our heart. I'm not just bouncing around trying to work up a sweat. I'm focused. I'm cooling down.
So, how about you? When was the last time you cooled down? I know you need one because 1. God ordained it. 2. I've heard us all say, "I just need a break." Take advantage of God on the day that He has blessed and sanctified. Then be prepared to work as though working for the Lord the rest of the week knowing the cool down is coming, and a cool down always feels better after a hard work-out.
Note: I have not arrived, but I feel like I am getting closer to understanding. Right now our Sabbath is a day of worship. We have Sunday School, Morning Worship, and Evening Worship. We do not "go" all day long and then just head back to church. We do not do any of the normal work. I do not pick up the house, or prepare for the week. I prepare my heart. I use Monday to get things in order for the week, not Sunday. A few weeks ago, our lead Pastor was sharing about the Sabbath and he said, "Sunday is not a day for us to remind God that He is God. It is a day for us to be reminded that He is God and we are His children." I sure need a cool-down. I look forward to it, and I hope you do as well.