In an effort to fend off the effects of gravity and excessive snacking, I routinely make my way to the gym where I run on a treadmill for 20 to 30 minutes. Recently, the gym management team decided to replace most of the treadmills in the building. These new treadmills have high-definition video screens above the speed and incline control panels. When I hook up my headphones, I can enjoy watching and listening to whatever satellite station I choose while I’m exercising.
Life as a Christian resembles the same dexterity and focus that people demonstrate when running on technologically advanced treadmills. If individuals focus only on running, and ignore the video screen and the headphones, they will not enjoy the experience engineers put in place to make the workout more enjoyable and rewarding.
Our physical world is the creation of a God who wants us to enjoy it. The hypnotizing beauty of a star-filled sky and the magnificent color found under the coastal waters of West Maui, Hawaii, were manufactured for our pleasure.
King David wrote: “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.” (Psalms 8:3-5), he was answering his own question – God wants us to enjoy His creation as we enjoy the Creator. God made the beauty in the world for us to benefit from. And while we must maintain our spiritual focus (similar to running on the treadmill), we must also take time to enjoy the people, nature, and inventions (similar to the high-definition video and sound on the treadmill) God has also given us.
When we see the power of God in creation, we are able to maintain a balance between eating, sleeping, and working in the world but not becoming spiritually disconnected from the Creator. I know that my purpose for running on the treadmill is to exercise and get fit. I am not there just to watch television, yet I appreciate the effort and hard work of the engineer that has enhanced my workout experience.
God has given us a universe to experience. But He has also given us instructions to help us maintain and keep our spiritual focus. If you’re standing still on the treadmill of life, slowly becoming enamored with the gadgetry and majesty of existence itself, maybe its time to wakeup those spiritual legs and start running again.
Dan, I enjoyed this, as I always enjoy your writings. You used great analogy here. There is one thing I would add here, as a friend. Enjoy the technology, but also look around at the people and while on that treadmill. One of them might be reflecting the beauty of God also. I know you will. God bless you and continue to use you, my friend. Your book, The Running Girl, is awesome. Thomas