Athlete, Make Time to Rest
Jonathan Van Horn
Matthew 11:28-30 (ESV)
Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.
Life is busy, no way around it. The hustle and bustle of a city, campus life, job, vocation, classes, relationships. If there was only a “pause” button on life we could take a deep breath, a relaxing moment on a couch or even get away for a time.
Jesus addresses this “rat-race” of sorts when He asks, “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion [sport, school, life]? Come to Me. Get away with Me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with Me and work with Me — watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with Me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly” (words in brackets added, Matthew 11:28-30, The Message).
We ALL need rest to rejuvenate, get refreshed, relax. And without it, we experience burnout, fatigue, exhaustion and even forms of delusion.
So how do we get there – get away with Jesus to recover and rest?
The reality is that we all have time in our schedules, whether we realize it or not. We can take advantage of the built-in moments in our lives. So the question is, do you have the eyes to see the breaks, or more importantly, do you intentionally schedule them into your calendar?
All athletes have at least one natural break – the offseason.
You have been working so hard to improve, hone your craft, develop your skill and accomplish the victory. Then you are done. Just like that, one day you’re competing, and the next day your season is over.
It is difficult to rest through the season because of the work, effort and time committed. So what do you do; how do you manage the “offseason”? How do you be intentional with these natural moments of rest as an athlete?
Think of REST:
Rest is what allows your body, mind and soul to RECOVER, EDIFY, STABILIZE and TRANSFORM.
Recover: to return to a normal state. You are pushing limits all the time, and rest allows for your body to recover and repair itself during this season.
Edify: to build up intellect and values. In the offseason you have the time to reflect, reconsider, reorganize and rebuild what you know, what you cherish and what you prioritize.
Stabilize: in sport, balance is essential to success. In the offseason we are to get our feet under ourselves and regain the lost balance in every aspect of our lives. This is a time to evaluate where we are off-kilter or identify what’s pulling us away from where we desire to go.
Transform: this is a time to build on our strengths, understand our weaknesses and continue down that road to becoming the man or woman we were created to be.
During your next offseason, take advantage of the time you have and REST! When we REST well in the Father, He gives us the clarity, strength and perseverance to continue on running the good race!
Reflect: Even better, what does it look like to take a weekly sabbatical, one day of rest with the Father each week to help refresh your mind, body and spirit?