Everybody has a beat.
You know, a rhythm: no matter what our favourite kind of music may be, we can all, periodically, find our toes tapping to the beat, the rhythm, of the music – even if the music is just going through our minds instead of being heard through our ears.
But everybody has another kind of beat, another kind of rhythm: a rhythm of life.
For most of us, that rhythm is arrhythmic. That is, it doesn’t have a consistency about itself. Those who have certain cardiac problems understand what arrhythmia is when it comes to the heart, but even those of us with strong, steady hearts suffer from the arrhythmia of life. Think about it: we live such frenetic paces of life that lack
personal regularity, we find ourselves flitting from this appointment to that, and life lacks a regular rhythm.
You’re thinking, I wish it wasn’t that way. And the good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way. Most of us wish for a slower pace of life, where we’re not keeping up with the Joneses and we’re able to do some of the things we know are good for us. We think it’s impossible, but it isn’t. We just have to want it badly enough that we make it happen.
And if we’re followers of Jesus, we can make that natural, God-given rhythm of life happen for us. By opening ourselves to God’s plan for our lives, we can find that rhythm begin to take shape in our lives.
Let me give you a personal example. I’ve never been what you’d call a ‘morning person’. I think from a very early age, I became accustomed to getting some of my best work done at night. My undergraduate years solidified that for me, since most of my classes were in the evening. I would get up at about 10:30, eat lunch, go to classes, come home, do my homework, and fall into bed at around 2 or 3 in the morning. While I can’t sustain the 2:00 a.m. routine anymore, I still can’t identify myself as a morning person.
This made it very hard for me to carve out a significant length of time to be with the Lord in Scripture reading, prayer, and other personal spiritual disciplines. That is,
until a few weeks ago.
I had been longing for more time with the Lord, and one morning, at the ghastly hour of about 5:45, I found myself awake, without the elp of an alarm. Figuring God had set an appointment with me, I rose, went to a space I had set aside for my time with God, and read Scripture, prayed, and just enjoyed God’s presence as the sun rose. That was a precious time.
In telling my spiritual director about it, she encouraged me, since I so enjoyed the time, to make myself set aside that time again. So, in faith, I set my alarm for an earlier
time to allow me to carve out that time with God, intentionally to create a rhythm in my day that began with the Lord. What happened next absolutely amazed me.
My alarm didn’t go off. In fact, it hasn’t gone off since. Why? Because the Lord is waking me up before the alarm goes off, so I can spend time with him. Granted, some
days, I lay in bed and negotiate with God for a few extra minutes, and occasionally, he gives them to me. But I still rise ahead of the alarm, and engage in richer fellowship with God than I can remember having had in a very long time.
While I’m not sure I’d call myself a ‘morning person’ just yet, I do find that my evenings are ending sooner, and my time with God is happening every morning. The adventure is new each day. There is little predictability to it, except that I will awaken early, and I will read Scripture and pray and do some other things with the Lord.
I’m crazy excited about what God is doing in my life. And I tell you this simply to say that if it can happen in my life, it can happen in yours. There is a great deal that still happens all day and into many evenings, but it all happens with a different perspective, simply because of how the day has begun.
Many of us say that we can’t afford the time – that we need the sleep we do get. I came to the conclusion that God will give me as much sleep as he knows I need, not how much I think I need. And I’m trusting God, day by day, to give me exactly what he knows I need.
You can do this, too, if you place yourself in God’s hands and allow him to make that change in your life that you know you need to make. You’ll have a rhythm of life that
feels right, where the beat is exactly what resonates with you.
Why not try it? Maybe yours won’t be first thing in the morning; it might be in the middle of the day, or before bedtime. Commit to God your willingness to let him carve out the time with him that you need to enrich your Christian life.
God wants nothing more than to enjoy time with us, and for us to enjoy time with him. Commit to a rhythm of life that has a steady beat, and watch what happens to your walk with the Lord.
“God gives rest to his loved ones” (Psalm 127.2c, NLT).
I’d love to hear from you if you give this a try, or if you have done this already. It would be great to hear your story of rhythm and fellowship and rest!