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Intentional Rest

Published on December 29, 2016

by Shane Williamson

This story appears in FCA Magazine’s January/February 2017 issue. Subscribe today!


As I begin my first “Coach’s Corner” column as president and CEO of this great ministry, I must first mention how humbled and excited I am to serve alongside such wonderfully committed teammates, coaches, athletes, supporters and volunteers.

I can honestly say every aspect of my life, marriage and family is a testament to the impact the Lord can make through FCA. I became a Christ-follower as an FCA camper in 1985 at Black Mountain FCA Camp in North Carolina, was discipled in my faith by a coach, and also served as a Camp Huddle Leader. I then followed God’s calling into coaching, where I witnessed so many lives changed by the Lord through the ministry. I joined on as a staff member in 2002, and now I can say what an honor it is to lead FCA as the first-ever president to come from field staff. As we advance this ministry together, we must continue to keep our eyes fixed on Christ, the Author and Perfector of our faith (Hebrews 12:1-2).

2017-1112-subscribenow (2)The idea of “rest”—this issue’s theme—has frequently been on my mind over the past several months while transitioning into this new position. The word “rest” comes from the Greek “anapauo,” which means to relax, calm or refresh. God obviously wanted us to be familiar with the term, which appears hundreds of times throughout Scripture. After all, it was He who rested after each day of creation, and then rested an entire day when His work was complete. If the omniscient and omnipotent Creator of the universe needed rest, how much more should we realize we also need it?

For coaches and athletes, some of the mental and physical benefits of rest include the abilities to:

Refocus: Nothing causes more mental mistakes than fatigue. Rest allows our mind and body to refocus on the task at hand.

Refresh: A lack of rest makes us reactionary, while proper rest helps us make rational, thoughtful decisions.

Recover: Our body’s biology requires ample oxygen and rest for lactic acid to be removed from muscles so we can fully recover.

While each of those benefits are great, God created us to be equally dependent upon spiritual rest, encouraging us through Scripture to:

Rest in His Providence: “In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O LORD, will keep me safe.” (Psalm 4:8)

Rest in His Promises: “Then Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.’” (Matthew 11:28)

Rest in His Plan: “Be still in the presence of the LORD, and wait patiently for him to act.” (Psalm 37:7a)

We need to remind ourselves to eliminate distractions that will rob us of our rest. Our physical, mental and spiritual rest is challenged regularly each day, and we must remain diligent to make the most of God’s ideal plan for our work and rest. If we can rest in God’s providence, promises and plan, we will find ourselves experiencing His peace that surpasses all understanding.

I’m so excited to help lead FCA into this challenging and exciting time. Through God’s favor and our dedicated, passionate teammates, FCA has great momentum. We plan to harness that momentum for good as we lock arms, hearts and minds to allow the Spirit to lead us onward and upward, all the while honoring the Lord in all respects. Even in His desire for us to rest.


Peace and blessings to you,

Shane Williamson

FCA President/CEO

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