Day 25: Vacation
After my bodybuilding competition, my family and I went on vacation. We planned a tropical retreat right after I signed up to be a bodybuilding competitor again. I knew that the competition would be stressful, and I would be worn out from months of training. I wanted a weeklong break from working out, scrutinizing my diet and practicing my routine and poses. Two days after my competition, we were on our way to Hawaii. There is nothing like a long vacation after months of hard work and diligence. I think that the sacrifice and effort leading up to the vacation made the time off even sweeter.
While on vacation, every bite of food I consumed tasted amazing. Being able to lounge at the beach all day without worrying about heading to the gym felt so relaxing. I didn’t have to count my macros, worry about sore muscles or practice my poses. I could just spend time with my family and rest, knowing that I had achieved my goals. Needless to say, this was one of the most memorable vacations that I have ever enjoyed. Every moment was like a gift. I simply rested and relished each day. God knows that there will be difficult challenges in our lives, which is why He will allow us times of rest after long stretches of hardships. But many times we miss the rest because we feel guilty about slowing down or we want to rush God’s timeline.
The Christian walk of faith can be compared to a journey. Sometimes we will walk through meadows and other times we will walk over mountains. If we don’t learn to rest after strenuous uphill climbs, we will eventually tire out and give up. We must take every opportunity that God gives us to rest our bodies, souls and minds. If we are constantly moving, we may actually start to plow in the wrong direction. We must have time to reflect on what really matters and examine our surroundings. All bodybuilders know to allow their hearts and bodies to recuperate after a particularly heavy lift. The heart rate needs to come back down before trying to lift heavy again. As Christians, we need to let our spirits recuperate after a particularly heavy burden that God has asked us to carry. When we have rested, we will find that we have more energy and strength to continue on the path that God has called us to.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11.28-30 NIV).
God, help me to learn to rest in You. I know there are moments when You want me to work hard and give all I got. But there are also other moments when You want me to sit back and rest for a time. Don’t let me miss any opportunity that You are giving me to rest. I want the energy and stamina to continue on this faith-journey that You have called me to. I want to embrace the rest You have ordained for me, especially after a very difficult season in my life. Help me to work hard, but also help me to rest and heal. I know that climbing mountains can wear me out and maybe even cause injury, so I want to be completely rested and healed before continuing on my way. I pray this in Jesus’ name, amen.
- Did you ever miss a time of rest that God ordained in your life?
- Do you sometimes confuse resting with laziness?
- After a difficult time, have you ever enjoyed a moment of peace?
Find Rest in God!