Take the Day Off – Robert Morris

Take the Day Off Robert Morris
Take the Day Off: Receiving God's Gift of Rest by Robert Morris
Published by FaithWords on October 29, 2019
Genres: Non-Fiction, Christian Life, Work
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Rest your mind, body, and spirit and focus on God's principles for keeping the Sabbath with this helpful guide from bestselling author Robert Morris. A constant stream of busyness can slowly wear away at us over time: physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Yet believers often forget that taking a day of rest is one of the Ten Commandments! When we don't give our minds and emotions a break, our will to make good choices can often become compromised. Resting is also important to those around you. If you have a weary soul, you can't pour yourself into others at home, work, or wherever you are. It's vital--you must take the day off.

I read this book immediately before embarking on 21 days of work without a day off. Bad choice. Or good choice. Probably good choice. As a bivocational pastor that also coaches gymnastics, the competition season with its weekend competitions often means no days off.

A few years ago, I read Addicted to Busy by Brady Boyd and it challenged me to change the way I went about my work and not feel guilty about rest. And now, amid a crazy cycle of busyness, Robert Morris swoops in with Take the Day Off to suggest that not only should I not feel guilty, but that I should accept rest as a gift from God. So. I get on a plane Sunday for a week and half of vacation on the beach.

Written in Morris’s conversational and easy tone, Take the Day Off is a treatise to take the Sabbath seriously. Using vignettes, statistics, and personal stories, he works through the typical “hard-working American” stereotype and catalogues our aversion to rest. We are a busy people and our business has only increased (even as technology as made us more productive). The result has not been a happier people or a healthier people, but a nation of people ragged, run down, and burnt out.

The answer, Morris says, is the Sabbath. God wants you to rest. He created you with the need to rest. He rested and you were created in his image. None of this is deep theology, but Morris’s pastoral tone manages to hit home in a fresh way. It’s okay to rest.

Interestingly, this concept is currently being debated in the NBA. Star players are sitting out games in order to keep them fresh for the long haul. It’s been quite the contentious strategy, with fans angry that the star players they paid to see are playing only a little or not at all. The NBA has even fined teams for doing this. But they need the rest if they want to play well throughout the whole season. Their bodies need time to rest and recuperate so they can play at their peak when it matters the most. Our bodies were made to Sabbath.

Take the Day Off isn’t going to tell you anything you don’t already know, but it is going to give you that push you need to actually implement what you know you need. My only criticism is that I wish there had been a chapter or two written for those whose financial or work situations often prevent them from taking the day off, where a day off means a job lost or a bill unpaid. Morris’s audience is geared more toward the white-collar professional, not the blue-collar worker, and never really addresses the question of “What if I can’t?” Overall, this was a refreshing read and a great reminder for a busy pastor.