On Respecting the Day Off

On Respecting the Day Off

With the NFL season flying by, players are worn out, beat up, and mentally drained. They’ve had training camp, practices, and games almost nonstop since July, and most good players also want to put in the extra time to improve their game.

However, some veterans like Cardinals’ quarterback, Carson Palmer, are given an off day during the week to sit out practice and rest. At first, he wasn’t thrilled with the idea of taking off practice because he loves to be out there with the team: “You want the reps [repetitions], you want to be in the huddle, you don’t want to be standing around at practice,” Palmer recently said.

But after getting in this new routine of taking an off day, Palmer admitted, “They’re so beneficial and as the season gets going, just one of them goes a long ways. I’ve been a gym rat for so long and want every rep and greedy with every rep, but I’ve learned to understand the importance of recovery, rest and sleep and all those things.”

Palmer continues to be the starter for the Cardinals at age 37, and the strategy for rest seems to be a good one. Even if it is difficult for him to step away from the action once a week, it should enhance his longevity and effectiveness. Ultimately, he is benefiting from putting his trust in his coaches who encouraged him to do this.

Let’s face it, the idea of rest and taking time off can seem impossible when it comes to our own busy lives. We’re always running from one activity to the next, one appointment to another, and trying to cross off our never ending to-do list.

It’s overwhelming when we think about how much is on our plate each week, so we stay up late and get up early in order to try and get everything done.

The problem is, that’s not the way God designed us. He didn’t intend for us to go-go-go 24/7 every week. He’s the ultimate example of working hard for six days and then resting on the seventh.

The Bible says in Genesis 2:2-3 (NLT), “On the seventh day God had finished His work of creation, so He rested from all His work. And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when He rested from all His work of creation.”

Trust me, I find it very difficult to “shut it down” and get away from the action for one day a week. However, I truly believe there is extreme value in doing so.

It takes a deep level of trust in God to help us do what’s most important to Him during the six days, and being willing to rest even when things remain on our “list.” I believe we become much better suited to handle our work or our list once we step away and actually take time for relaxation.

It’s also a true act of obedience. We forget that keeping a day set apart for God and rest is one of the Ten Commandments. Exodus 20:8-10 (NLT) says, “Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the Lord your God. On that day no one in your household may do any work…”

Let’s be encouraged by Carson Palmer who trusts his coaches with implementing one “off day” each week…and let’s trust and obey God by embracing the “off day” He commands us to take. I’m Bryce Johnson and you can unpack that!

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, please forgive me for continuously disregarding Your commandment to honor the Sabbath. I realize You desire for this day to be holy and restful. Please give me the strength to trust You with this day – to step away from my work and find rest in You. I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Check out more from Bryce Johnson on sports, faith, and life at Unpackin’It