Rest is not laziness

I don’t know how to give you a list of things I love most in any particular order. It is hard for me to rank them. Of course I’d like to say God is always number one, but in my most vulnerable honesty, I know there are times when I put other things before Him.

Anyway, the point of that is to say that one of my most favorite things to do is spend time working my body, hard, at the gym or on the open road and trail. I love riding my bike, running, lifting, spinning, boxing, hot yoga – you name it, I like to at least give it a try. Notice I didn’t list swimming there… Even after almost a year of working it in the pool I have yet to actually enjoy it more than a handful of times.  One of the hardest things I have found for myself over the past 10 years is taking a whole day of rest. Yesterday, I skipped the workout I had planned for the morning to get a little extra snooze-time. So, I thought that I would make this my day of rest for the week (I try to force myself at least one). But in my head, I kept coming up with ideas of little workouts I could throw in between clients today. Well that didn’t work out between clients so I left feeling slightly guilty but trying to remind myself that my body needs rest.

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Thnking about this time of rest led me to think about life in general. I believe we need to take days (in the workplace often known as mental health days) where we relax, catch up on things needing to be done, and give ourselves a little TLC.

Let me make something clear – I am great at being lazy, terrible at taking a rest day. I can sit around and do nothing for hours if I had the opportunity. I like to combine my physical rest days with my mental rest days, but the problem arises that I end up being lazy instead of resting.

There is a difference.

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God calls us to cast our cares upon Him, to rest in His care. I think this means that we are called to give Him our burdens, to take a break from all of life’s demands. I DO NOT believe that means we are to be lazy, not working towards the goal. You can be lazy and not do anything, to assume God will take control and you sit back and relax. That is not what I believe we are called to do when we give over our burdens. 1 Corinthians 16:13 says,

Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.

I like the way The Message version states 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 states it:

Keep your eyes open, hold tight to your convictions, give it all you’ve got, be resolute, and love without stopping.

We keep working, we keep striving towards the goal, we keep up the good fight. The Message version of 1 Timothy 6:12 states,

…Run for your life from all this. Pursue a righteous life—a life of wonder, faith, love, steadiness, courtesy. Run hard and fast in the faith. Seize the eternal life, the life you were called to, the life you so fervently embraced in the presence of so many witnesses.

Even in physical rest days some experts suggest light exercise, they don’t say sit on your butt, eat crap, and forget all you trained for. No, you give your body time to heal and prepare for the goal set before you. In the like, a “life rest day” doesn’t mean you just stop and give up, you take time to focus on the goal, collect yourself and arm yourself for the battle.

Keep it up. Take the time you need to give yourself some rest – wear your sweats all day and watch the olympics; take a day off work and run all the errands that have been piling up; watch that show on netflix you are behind on; take a friend out for lunch and talk for hours without an agenda. Take your rest and prepare for the battle that lies before you.

Rest is key.

And so is laughter:

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