By Joel Comiskey, Living in Victory, 2022
We said to our friend, “What brings rest and joy to you?” Do it on your day off. “What is stress-free for you?” Do it. Each person is different in the area of enjoyment. Some find enjoyment in gardening while others would see this as stressful. Some might work on a wood project or art painting. Some enjoy model airplanes, cycling, and so forth. I love watching documentaries, listening to audiobooks, and reading non-work-related books.
More than anything, the day off should break the routine, the molds. I think the phrase in Leviticus is significant when referring to the day off. God told his chosen people, “Do no regular work” (Leviticus 23:24-25). Six days are dedicated to working and getting things done. One day needs to be reoriented to do no regular work—nothing that normally comes under the category of work.
My wife and I have an agreement that we won’t talk about things that produce anxiety between us on our days off. Both of us have the prerogative to ask the other not to bring up stress-producing topics, like work-related items, scheduling, emails, and things to do around the house.
I’ve learned not to read my emails or answer the phone on my day off. Both can wait. Too many times, out of curiosity, I’ve peeked at an email or answered a phone call that produced anxiety and sapped my peace during my day off. At times, I’ll write a quick response saying, “On my day off . . . will call you or write tomorrow.”
Emergencies are something entirely different. Again, legalism should be avoided. You might not keep your day off perfectly but remember, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ (Romans 8:1). Just remember the principle of rest. The day off is for your benefit.
The words of Christ should be applied to our day off, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matthew 6:34). While this applies to every day of the week, it should be the motto of the day off. One day should be completely stress-free, relaxed, peaceful, and full of rest.
Taking a regular day off won’t necessarily happen right away. But as you work at it, taking a day of rest will become a habit. First, make it a conviction, and eventually, it will also become a habit. Victory follows
When my family was young, we would spend our day off finding interesting things to do around Southern California. We consulted a book of places to visit which we referred to as the “yellow book.” The author had personally gone to most of the places with her family and then wrote a book about her experiences. We tried most of the author’s suggestions.
In the evening, we would watch a favorite movie together, order food, and just hang out. Rest and relaxation were the focus.
Nowadays, our kids are older and out of the house, so our day off is different. Celyce likes to sit out in the backyard and have her quiet time, read a novel, and just relax. I love documentaries, audiobooks, and non-fiction books that have nothing to do with my own ministry. I just want to space out. Then we come together in the afternoon to pray, walk, and watch something together. We often go out to eat or bring something home. We have read a book together or listened to an audiobook. Our goal is enjoyment and rest.