I have recently been away for a few days on holiday down to the coast. During this time, I was able to do several walks ranging from between 5 miles to 12 miles in length. Most of these walks were along sandy beaches. I especially appreciate the beauty of the beach and the sea, never tiring of them. I really enjoy returning from a walk knowing that although I may feel tired, that the walk has benefited me.
It was great just to get away and enjoy the experience of fresh air and sunny weather (well some sunshine at least!). I returned from my holiday feeling fit, refreshed, and healthy, both physically and mentally.
Often when I am away, I think to myself how nice it would be to be able to do this every day. I make plans in my mind about how when I return, I will try to do several hours of exercise more each week. Unfortunately, though this is not possible as 5 days a week I am at work, and therefore cannot fit time in my schedule for this amount of exercise each week.
Whilst I would not describe myself as someone who is obsessed with keeping fit, I do think it is important. I am not a person who visits the gym, my sole form of exercise is walking. Most weeks, I will aim to walk between 20 to 30 minutes per day between Monday to Friday. At the weekends I normally walk between 1 to 2 hours each day.
However, although I enjoy walking and firmly believe that physical exercise is good for you, I know that we are not put on earth simply for this reason. Why you might ask?
My answer is based on what the apostle Paul wrote to Timothy (1 Timothy 4:8). I like the way that the Amplified Bible translates that verse:
For physical training is of some value (useful for a little), but godliness (spiritual training) is useful and of value in everything and in every way, for it holds promise for the present life and also for the life which is to come.
For someone like myself, who has always enjoyed sport and exercise, this is an interesting and challenging verse! Paul is not saying that physical exercise is bad. In fact, he fully acknowledges it does have some value for us. However spiritual training / exercise is significantly more beneficial to us. It benefits us both in this life and prepares us for the life to come. Whereas physical exercise is just for now.
Therefore, we need to remember the importance of spiritual exercise, for example: prayer, bible reading, worshipping God, putting sin to death, and living a Godly life for Him.
Keep yourself fit physically but more importantly make sure you keep yourself spiritually fit too.