Friday, July 31, 2009

Stop - Rediscovering the Rhythm of Life

God designed life to be lived with a particular rhythm.

There was a rhythm to the day. Night and Day. Sleeping and waking. Working and resting.

A rhythm to the week. Six days to work and one day to rest - an important enough rhythm to be enshrined in the ten commandments.

A rhythm to the year. Seven feast spread throughout the year, which were to be enjoyed and observed by all of God's people.

And a rhythm to the years. A year for the land to rest every seventh year and a year of jubilee every fiftieth year.

Yet our modern 24-7 world seems to have destroyed the rhythm of life. We can be on task from the moment we wake up to the moment we go to sleep with our BlackBerry or iPhone in constant attendance. Even something as simple as the light bulb means that there is no longer any need to stop work and rest once it gets dark. The idea of a day to cease work and rest, to reconnect with family and reconnect with God, seems totally unrealistic. And even on holiday we're still 'on task', checking email, texting friends and updating facebook.

I think we need to rediscover the rhythm of life. As Bill Hybels says in his excellent book Axioms, to identify when in our day, our week, our month and our year we "cross the line" and say I'm now done with work and am going to stop and to rest. That if we work six days and rest one we'll achieve more than if we work seven days and rest none.

I'm not clear what this means for you. What it means for a busy mum or an overstretched self employed person or a busy executive to begin to build that rhythm back into their lives. But I know that it's worth fighting for. I'm trying to work it out in my own life, and for our family, so why not join me on this journey of rediscovering the rhythm.


This is based on my message from last Sunday - hear it in full here.


irene m said...

Good points made on Sunday...look forward to hearing the rest this weekend and then will have to process it all.

Geri said...

I remember so well the times when the only rest I had was to the tune of 'Thomas the Tank Engine' in the background 45 minutes a day! Once I used the ban of the daily fix as a threat if a certain behaviour didn't stop and I had to stick to it. The phrase 'this is hurting me more than it's hurting you' was so true that day! Because of my joint problems I have to schedule in down time each day, but what you said on Sunday is teaching me to appreciate it for what it is - just stopping, without guilt or wishing I didn't have to. God ordained rest.