The Dead Sea lives, and thrives, in stark contrast to its name. Also known as the Sea of Salt, this salt lake is 34 miles long and spread between Israel and the west bank and Jordan on the east. While the extreme salinity of the water prevents animal or vegetable life, thus the name Dead Sea, it was one of the earliest recorded health resorts with Cleopatra recognizing the medicinal benefits to skin care.
Visitors and tourists travel the world to bathe in its waters and experience the salts and other minerals beneficial to the body’s health. To this day the salt from the sea is used to create cosmetics and herbal packets.
Most of the discussions involving salt are from the dietary standpoint and that is usually negative. I want to address salt from a spiritual perspective and what God’s word tells us. In Matthew 5:13 it says, “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.”
With the Dead Sea eight times more salty than the ocean, I know I’m not the saltiest thing on earth, but maybe a close second. My challenging Tuesday morning workout reinforced my belief as salty sweat poured into my eyes with each ensuing exercise. It was as if someone was pouring salt into each eye. Finally I was forced to swipe a towel across my eyes between exercises. Oh how I wished my headband was in place to absorb this sweat.
While in the plank position and glancing below, I noticed a sea of salt and quickly took my towel to prevent anyone slipping on the wet surface. Standing again, I picked up the kettle bell and we all continued squatting and swinging the ball shaped weights above our heads. The salty taste had made its way to my mouth and the odor was permeating my nostrils. Between exercises I reminded the class to stay hydrated and we sipped a little water before taking on the next one.
At the end of the hour class we had burned plenty of calories and I looked like I had exercised in the rain. After class everyone was talking about our newest piece of exercise equipment, the kettle bells, and how challenging, and even fun, it had been to use them. I was already focusing on feeling clean again, and preparing to teach the Total Body Challenge class in the evening.
In the time between classes, with body spent and spirit receptive, reflections became directions with prayer time powerful and precise. Life’s sweet contradictions became great awakenings with God helping control the overflow of ideas circling in my mind. Calming the chaos of this world, I saw The Dead Sea, vacant of life, promoting health and life from the properties of its minerals.
Through exercise, though exhausting, energy for life is produced. Most importantly, I envisioned an all-powerful God choosing to use His people, frail and weak, to sprinkle salt into the stations of our life.
Rested and rejuvenated, I begin the process of creating and organizing the challenging exercise stations for the Total Body Challenge class. As the class name infers, these stations address each and every muscle group in the body.
This is an exciting class for me to teach with 100 to 125 regular attendees and every age group represented. There are some as young as 13 and others in their 70’s. It is incredible watching the experienced and new students working side by side at the stations. With the large numbers the energy level is amazing and no one slacks off when exercising.
The not so secret ingredient for the class is the sprinkling of Gods’ Word, which I believe inspires the students to seek a certain level of excellence not otherwise achieved. As they look to the Lord and His strength; they realize more energy and motivation. They also do some sprinkling of salt at each of the exercise stations, slinging a portion of sweat as an offering. Leviticus 2:13 tells us in the times before Christ came the people should, “Season all your grain offerings with salt. Do not leave salt of the covenant of your God out of your grain offerings; add salt to all your offerings.”
With about five minutes left in class, I announce “everyone needs to complete at least two more stations before the cool down.” I remind everyone, once again, that we are working out for the Lord and not for ourselves. Their level of energy increases and they head to the last station. One minute and thirty seconds is a lot of time if you are engaging in a challenging exercise. This should still provide ample time to complete 30 to 40 repetitions of a particular exercise.
Everyone finished strong and most of them were wringing wet with sweat. After the stretches of the cool down, everyone helped pick up the equipment and headed home to their showers.
Just as my class works from station to station, we, as Christians, travel to and fro in our daily lives. While we all claim to be so very busy, don’t we have a minute and a half to season someone’s life with our salt? Can’t we show we are different from the world and flavor someone’s life with our heart for Christ?
How does the world know there is a better way if we do not share the change He has made in our life? Psalm 34:8 addresses this reality, “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.” When we are willing to offer ourselves as “salt,” we give others a thirst for Him. So, whether it’s the gas station, restaurant, grocery or work place, sprinkle a little salt and watch new life develop. It’s what we are called to do and it proves we are alive for Him.