I don’t want to get off on a religious rant, but I’ve always had a policy of not riding on Sunday and some of my friends and riding associates may wonder why, so I thought I’d address it here. And since it’s my blog, I guess no one’s going to stop me.
I love mountain biking and would probably ride every day of the week, 365 days a year if I thought I could. But someone a lot smarter than me, God, decreed a long time ago that everyone should rest one in every seven days. Seems like a small thing, and many don’t observe this particular commandment or do it in a different way than me, but since this one is among the top ten from Sinai, I figure it must be important. It’s right there at number four, in fact: “Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy”.
I believe that God gives us commandments not to bully us or restrict us, but because He loves us and wants us to be happy. And since He knows everything, He also knows the path that leads to happiness and peace (not to mention better health). I also believe that God does not give any commandment to His children without a pretty nice blessing attached if we keep that commandment. When I was a kid I mostly kept this commandment out of fear of being grounded by my parents. But a long time ago while going to college I decided I would put this particular commandment to the test. I decided to make a pact with myself and God that I wouldn’t do any homework or school work on Sundays. I wouldn’t work or do other recreational activities and I would dedicate the day to Him.
One of the surest ways to get confirmation that something works is to try it. Well, after eight more years of college and graduating with a doctorate degree in optometry magna cum laude I never did do any homework on Sunday and never felt like my grades or test performance suffered for taking that day off. In fact I think at least some of my success in school I can attribute to that decision to keep the Sabbath. With this new found confirmation I decided to apply the same test to other things in my life and found that the blessings kept flowing. Now I love taking a break from everything once a week, worshiping God and just resting from my labors…. Even mountain biking. I feel rejuvenated physically, mentally, and spiritually when I observe the Sabbath.
I love this scripture from Isaiah 58:13-14: It’s formatted in the classic “If-Then” format where a condition is prescribed and a result is promised if the condition is met. Check out the promised blessing in verse 14. If that’s not a clear reference to mountain biking, I don’t know what is.
13 ¶If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:
14 Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.
So for me, at least, keeping a Sabbath is something that helps me recover and stay rested and feeling fresh for my five to six day a week mountain biking habit….. and I believe it keeps me in God’s good graces as well which is never a bad thing.
Let me know what your experience has been as far as riding every day versus taking one day off every week.