Faith and Sports by Eric Jensen

The last month, well actually the last year has been a nonstop roller coaster ride. With COVID-19 changing almost every aspect of our lives, from how we shop to how we worship. It is a miracle we got through this year. Yet we did. So now what? 
Obviously 2021 won’t change the paradigm all that much. We are still about a year away from most of the population having a vaccine. A roll out of the magnitude we are looking at is sure to have issues as well. Let’s forget about that though. Let’s talk about rest. We could all use some.
Look to Genesis, on the seventh day God himself, after creating the planet, rested. He took a deep breath, kicked off his shoes, plunked down in his recliner, leaned back and let out a big sigh. Then I imagine he fell to sleep for a bit. I bet that was hard for him. Resting is hard for me.
I tend to go at a pace of which a lot of people can’t really keep up with. Between full time school, a part time job, my podcast, writing now for the Utah school newspaper and working on little side projects like this I have a tendency to go. Go, go, go, go, go. It’s in a large way how I cope with my mental health and severe anxiety. I just go. 
That obviously is not the smartest of strategies all the time. Especially when about three weeks ago on my way to work I fell off my bike and picked up a pretty serious concussion (I was wearing a helmet) that put me in the ER. So for the last two weeks, go has not been the gear. When I tried to make it the gear about three days after the accident I re-aggravated the concussion and landed myself back in the dark. I have survived largely in the dark the past few weeks. I wear sunglasses almost constantly, use only soft lamp light in my room and have basically stopped watching television (aside from Broncos games of course) things are getting better though. I am typing this up and staring at my computer screen without sunglasses and while my head feels a little tight overall I feel fine. 
I needed rest though. What I learned from this experience is that it is hard to rest, and I mean truly rest. No TV, no books, no crossword puzzles, no laptops and most difficult, no phone. I mean rest, true rest. True Sabbath as defined in Exodus means rest, devoted to God. It’s not a matter of just not going to work and watching TV all day. It’s about sitting and thinking about God. That’s hard to do. So I thought I would take us through an exercise to end this piece to help you on the Sabbath. 
  1. What are you thankful for? A simple question, but a tough one for some people. I am thankful that I was wearing a helmet, I am thankful my dad was able to help me get to a hospital, I am also thankful for health insurance. This year I am thankful that the pandemic gave me more time to work on my podcast, of which I dropped nearly 100 episodes in one year. 
  2. How has God helped you in 2020? He’s given me a lot of great connections. He’s given me some friends that I can text every now and then so I don’t feel alone in a time in which it has become increasingly easy to feel alone. 
  3. What can you do to thank God? For me the answer is simple, pray and try to give back. I am a broke college kid but I donated to a local fund to help people get Thanksgiving dinners run by a local sports writer on Twitter. I try to pray and tell God I am thankful. You don’t have to do this the way I do. Do the opposite, but find a way to talk to God. I find that important.
Three questions. Easy. From a non-pastor. Ignore it, do it, I don’t care either way just thought it might be helpful.
At the end of the hardest year on record, with another doozy coming down the pipe. Head to your recliner, take some Ice cream with you, plop down, and breathe a sigh of relief, eat ice cream, close your eyes and thank God, we made it through 2020.