August 24, 2023 | Read Time: 1 min

By: Rev. Mark Sorensen

Bernard Lagat knows a lot about long-distance running. He should. The Kenyan-born citizen of the U.S. is a five-time Olympian who holds seven American records ranging from the 1,500-meter to the 5,000-meter races. He is known for his exceptional endurance and numerous accomplishments in both track and road racing. However, what people might not be familiar with is what he incorporates into his rigorous training schedule.

According to an article in The New York Times, “He will toss his sneakers into a closet and pig out for five weeks. No running. No sit-ups, no heavy lifting, except for a fork.”
I love his thinking. :-)
Lagat admits that every athlete is different, but his schedule and training work well for him. “My runs are very hard,” he said. “Everything I do is hard… but the body is tired. You’re not a machine. Rest is a good thing.”
This is so true. In fact, someone came up to me this past Sunday and said something similar. Their grandfather would often say, “Everything needs to be unplugged and plugged in again for things to work properly.”
I believe Lagat’s story can be a powerful illustration of the need for rest in our lives.
In Psalm 23:2-3, David reminds us, “He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.” Notice the words “green pastures,” “quiet waters” and “refreshes my soul.” I’ve found that taking time to slow down, to pause and to be still intentionally has been life-giving and sustaining for me.
How about you? Where are you taking moments in your schedule to slow down, push against the calendar and remind yourself that you are more than what you do?
Here’s the good news for us all today. Rest is not a sign of weakness but a necessary component for physical, mental and spiritual well-being. Jesus would often find quiet, “lonely places” to just be and rest in the presence of His Father.
What I know? If it was important for Jesus then, it should be important for us today.

Rest in that truth.
In Jesus’ name.

— Mark