Last night, I did what I’ve done for decades. Nothing was different, except for one simple variable: my age. It’s amazing how one small difference can make a world of difference in the outcome. 

We had a youth group event called BreakQuake, and one of the activities was pick up basketball. Since I LOVE basketball, and grew up playing it at a very talented level, that was easily my first choice. Smooth sailing, right? 

I played full court basketball with several high school boys for approximately 2 1/2 consecutive days. (In reality, I probably played for a total of an hour. But old-man basketball sort of works like dog years.) The fruit of my labor: several pulled muscles, a devastated lower back, and a severely bruised ego. 

What happened? I’m 36 years old. That’s the same age as Peyton Manning, the guy who went through four neck surgeries, only to emerge as a highly-coveted quarterback. I emerged from my athletic endeavor as a cliche. 

Needless to say, I used this Sabbath to go into Recovery Mode. 

One key theme of Sabbath-keeping is “recovery”. We rest to recover from the week. We rest to replenish our bodies, minds, and spirits. We rest to refuel our relationships with God and others. 

Farmers know this practice very well. They will let a field “rest” for a year to help the nutrients in the soil recover. 

So this Sabbath was a great reminder that (1) I am no longer 23 years old, (2) I should start playing shuffleboard, and (3) I need to recover every week on so many levels. 

Did you allow yourself to go into Recovery Mode sometime this week?