The Olympics have proven to be excellent so far – with captivating events and intense finishes. When I take a step back to consider the commitment and effort these athletes demonstrate to compete at this level, it’s remarkable. Their dedication and sacrifice are greatly evident.

It’s also clear that when these athletes finish a race or the Olympics end for them personally, they are absolutely exhausted. They’ve given all they have and are extremely drained.

US swimmer, Ryan Lochte, recently confirmed this after his final race: “I need a break, mentally and physically.” He later said, “I haven’t taken a break since I first started swimming. The longest break I’ve taken was a month. Going in, day in and day out, and just beating up your body takes a toll.”

These Olympic athletes are in peak physical and mental shape, but after leaving it all out there during competition, it’s crucial for them to take a break and re-energize if they want to get back out there again.

You and I may not be preparing for the next Olympic Games, but we have our own mental, emotional, and physical demands on our lives. We get drained by the pressures of life, endless responsibilities, and pouring into our work and families.

All too often we view slowing down as a weakness, and keep going and going, day after day. Taking a break or even unplugging seems impossible if we want to “win the race” and not be viewed as lazy.

Unfortunately, we don’t value rest the same way God does. Spiritually speaking, we ultimately find our rest in Jesus, but the physical side is important too.

Jesus says in Mark 6:31 (NLT): “…’Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.’ He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his apostles didn’t even have time to eat.”

Today, let’s remember we can put forth an “Olympic effort” in our jobs, families, and pursuit of Jesus, but along the way we also need to rest…be still…and refuel to continue working wholeheartedly for the Lord. I’m Bryce Johnson and you can unpack that!

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, I’m so guilty of not fully resting or slowing down. Please forgive me and allow me to see the value of regularly taking a break. I pray that I would work hard for You, but understand the only way that happens is if I slow down long enough to be filled back up. Thank you for Your grace. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.