Teachings From The Treadmill
By Cindy Martin –
The cards and presents have all been opened and the decorations are put away for another year. New Year’s resolutions to quit this or start that are aplenty. My determination to drop a few pounds has me heading for the gym.
On the treadmill, as I finish selecting my program, entering my age (sigh), weight (bigger sigh) and time, immediately across the screen scroll the words KEEP HANDS ON SENSORS FOR HEART RATE. Any attempt to take a drink from my water bottle or skip to the next song on my IPod instantly results in getting beeped and the flashing reminder to KEEP HANDS ON SENSORS FOR HEART RATE. I see the STOP button but my pride and insatiable desire to multitask to efficiently use my time keep me from using it. After all, I should be able to take a little sip or make a few little adjustments without consequences.
I learn from a veteran treadmiller that there is a way around this annoying little feature. If you select “Random” as your program you are not required to KEEP HANDS ON SENSORS FOR HEART RATE. I enjoy my new found freedom and the anticipation of not knowing what’s coming next – just taking it as it comes. I tell myself that the safety risks are insignificant.
As my mind settles into a more contemplative mood and I reflect on my relationship with God, some striking parallels came to mind. My “I’ll do it my way” of approaching the design of the treadmill is often the way I approach God. I want all the benefits of the time we spend together, but I want it on my own terms. I don’t want to have to “stop” in the midst of my busyness to drink in the life-giving presence He offers. I want to make random adjustments on the run. I resist keeping my hands on the sensors of His word and His Spirit because I don’t always like what they reveal about my heart. All the while, I do so at the risk of my own spiritual health. Psalm 46:10 aptly reminds us of our spiritual Trainer’s words to us, “Be still and know that I (not you) am God.” (KJV)
The next time I’m at the gym, I think I’ll choose a different program (probably “Fat burn”!) and KEEP HANDS ON SENSORS FOR HEART RATE.
AUTHOR QUOTE: “It’s hard to fill a moving bucket!”
“Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10 KJV).