Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. ~ Matt 5:13
Salt is mined in two ways. Dry mining and solution mining. Dry mining is the type of mining that takes place on the surface of the earth. This kind of mining is rare. In solution mining, fresh water is injected through a pipe into deep shafts that end in the salt beds, and salty water (brine) is drawn upward and dried, to recrystallize the salt. Obviously, this way of extracting salt from the earth is a little more involved than scrapping the surface of the Earth with a bulldozer. It takes effort to bring this kind of operation together. Scrapping the earth leaves scars and and impacts the surface of the earth, but solution mining goes beyond the surface and digs deep into the earth. Water is shot through penetrating shafts into the earth and the salt is then brought to the surface. All of this takes place below the surface, much of which is not seen with the naked eye.
You are probably wondering, what on earth does this have to do with exercise or really anything for that matter? Well, believe it or not, the picture of solution salt mining is a great analogy of exercising. As a runner, I have learned some great principles, not only about exercising, but also about life. These principles are both natural and spiritual and are applicable in a myriad of ways.
It is clearly evident that our nature has a tendency to want something for nothing. Within us is this strong desire to achieve all our goals without much effort. It’s an instant gratification attitude that pursues the path of least resistance. After years of mistreating our bodies, lazy living, and lethargic lifestyles, we are easily moved by advertisements that offer quick and easy solutions. Commercials proclaiming you can lose thirty pounds in thirty days, WITHOUT exercising, capture our attention. Anything or any idea offering an easy way out will prompt us to draw money out of our bank accounts. Let’s just put it this way, we want a magic pill solution to resolve the problems we have sown in a lifetime! We want a surface dry mining solution that can only penetrate the surface of the problem when the only real solution is an attack on the inner man, which resides deep within the crevices of our hearts!
As we work our way into the middle of week five of our challenge, it has probably become evident, once again, it takes physical action to fulfill your mental resolution to change yourself. No matter how many exercising tools, DVD‘s, or gym memberships you buy, nothing happens unless you, that’s right, YOU, do something with them. The treadmill will not do much for YOU, unless you get on it and press the buttons. You see, I have been here before. I have bought the two thousand dollar treadmill and watched it sit in the corner and make a very nice coat rack. I have spent the money on the exercise DVD‘s and watch them collect dust on the bookshelf. So, I write today with some first hand knowledge. I am no different than you. Believe it or not, I face the same temptations to NOT exercise as you do!
Again, you are probably wondering, ‘What on earth does mining salt have to do with this discussion?’ There are many well known qualities of salt. Salt is a taste enhancer of food. It adds to the taste of the food we eat. It makes our food taste better. It is also a preservative. No wonder the Lord said His people would be ‘the salt of the earth’. Those who lived His Word out of their heart and actions would enhance life to those around them. If their life were lived according to His Word, His people were to add to life here on earth and also help preserve His Word. BUT, as we have seen in the natural, mining salt does not come easily, and as it is in the natural, so it is with the spiritual.
I love it when I get to a place in my exercise routine when a nice salty sweat rolls down my forehead and into my eyes. Sure it stings, but at the same time, I know I have had to work hard to get my body to sweat. Over the years, I have witnessed when I work out, a good old fashion salty sweat does not come in the first few minutes of a workout. I have had to dig deep into my earthen vessel, called this body, in order to bring forth the salt. By digging deep, I mean I have had to mine through a lot of negative thoughts and press pass many temptations to produce a salty sweat, and this makes me feel good! Mining salt does not come easy. It doesn’t come by looking at the treadmill, nor does it come at ‘thinking’ about exercising. The salt from within doesn’t even come in the first few minutes of a workout, but only after I have kept my body under subjection to the exercise at hand.
You have heard the saying, “Here’s to mud in your eyes!” Well, today, I say, “Here’s to salt in your eyes!” Don’t make the mistake of just shallow surface mining for salt. Today, dig deep within your heart, and press pass the fleshly temptations to do the minimum, until you reach the depth of where the salt lies. Then, and only then, will you feel the stinging delight of drops of salt in your eyes! And believe me, the external taste of a deep mining workout will bring an internal joy and a hand raising pump in victory!