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There has been much conversation about the late Thanksgiving shortening the time to prepare for Christmas – and I get it – but right now I am enjoying what feels like extra downtime after Christmas because of that same spacing. These days between New Year’s Eve and the weekend feel like bonus days. And I, for one, am enjoying them.

Last week I preached 6 different sermons in 8 days … with a few other activities thrown in. By Sunday night I was spent. NYE I was asleep before 11:00 p.m. … and did not get out of bed on New Year’s Day until after 8:00 a.m. (which is extraordinary for me). Each day this week has been lazy … family time … getting some little things done. My biggest disappointment is how two football games ended yesterday (While I was sad to see the Badgers lose to the Ducks, I was really disgusted with Saban’s poor sportsmanship at the end of the Citrus Bowl).

Last night I re-read these first two paragraphs and realized how “whiney” I sound. I took a 30-minute walk to think things over, but decided to leave them in. Truth be told, this is how I tend to get (whiney) when I do not take proper care of myself.

R&R, I believe, originally stood for Rest & Relaxation. Today, though, many will first associate this letter combination with Role & Responsibility. I have a third suggestion. I think R&R is really all about Receiving & Reflecting.

Paul addresses this R&R when he writes, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” (2 Corinthians 1.3-4) As God gives us rest and relaxation – like in these ‘bonus days’ – it is important that we receive them. It is also valuable to reflect as one receives (for me this meant realizing these days are a gift from God … and repenting of my wearisome whininess).

I also note, though, that Paul at the same time is pushing me to Receive & Reflect in the area of Role & Responsibility. This R&R is included in every gift we receive from God. God takes care of me, and then prompts me to “comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which I myself am comforted by God.” The equation is not only simple. It also makes perfect sense.

Hoarding – whether we are talking calories, sleep, money or anything else – is never healthy! Calories are meant to be burned. Active days bring balance to proper sleep. Even the financial blessings we receive (commonly called income) are meant to be used for the betterment of all. All hoarding ever produces – at least in me – is that wearisome whininess of “I need more” and “It’s all about me”!

So, Lord Jesus, I pray that you enable me to receive ALL the R&R’s you provide me in 2020 (and beyond) … and to empower me to continually reflect them in EVERY appropriate direction.

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