“It’s useless to rise early and go to bed late,
and work your worried fingers to the bone.
Don’t you know he enjoys
giving rest to those he loves?” Psalm 127:2 MSG
Ahhh… a lazy Saturday. Don’t you just love when you look at your calendar and there it is: a blank page. Nothing scheduled. No meetings. No rehearsals. No appointments. No commitments. A day to have your way with! While we work hard all week, aren’t you glad God has given us the command… and gift of rest?! I know I rejoice in that word! I’m not specifically addressing the Sabbath in this post, but let’s explore what a day of “Active Rest” looks like.
Some may interpret this as a day to lay around on the sofa, binge-watching Blue Bloods, snacking on leftover pizza… until you find yourself still in your pajamas at 6PM… when you discover a french-fry stuck in your hair and you haven’t brushed your teeth yet. That’s not exactly what I had in mind. While we do need time to recoup our bodies when we are sick or injured, I believe a spiritual day of active rest is much like an active rest day in your workout week.
If you are working out hard at the gym all week, lifting weights or doing intensive cardio, you need to give your muscles, joints, and body time to recover. That’s when you build muscle and prevent injury. Experts agree that you need to take at least one day off. (Funny how science and God agree, isn’t it?! 🙂 ) So on your rest day, you could walk, do heavy stretching, or some other light activity. You want to keep the blood flowing, your heart pumping, and air moving through your lungs, while still taking it easy.
Much the same, you can use this day to rest from your usual “work.” So get up off of that couch! Go to the park. Get some fresh air. Learn to play guitar. Write poetry. Sew, paint, color, draw, or create a craft. Develop a new skill or hobby. Write encouraging letters to loved ones. Try a new recipe. Play with your dog. Call a friend. Plan your meals for the week. Write out your workouts for the week. Take your kids on a scavenger hunt. Have a picnic with your spouse… even if it’s on the living room floor. Most importantly- have fun! God created us for healthy recreation.
As you take this day to actively rest, I caution you not to rest from God. If you head into your day without putting on your armor, you may find that it doesn’t turn out as beautifully as you had planned. So do something a little different to keep it interesting. Maybe you can do a devotional with someone else today, or worship through music rather than writing… but make time. Keep God in first-place and as your priority. I promise you- you won’t regret it!
Enjoy your day of Active Rest, and may God bless all you lay your hands to.
Here’s to your health!