"When Rhythms Go Awry"
by Rochelle Sikora
Routine. My best friend and yet my worst enemy. When life feels like it is stuck in the same old day-in and day-out routine, I get bored. I have said to my husband on more than one occasion that I just need something to look forward to, some break from the monotony. And yet this week—Sunday morning to be exact—I found myself staring at the wall, almost paralyzed by the freedom of a day with no routine. No church. No Sunday school lesson to prepare. No volleyball that afternoon.
A list. I had to make a list of possible things to do before I could get moving again. I needed direction for my day.
Now, I may perhaps have a fondness for lists more than the average person, but I do think that routines, or perhaps a better word would be rhythms, are an essential element of a healthy life, physically and spiritually. Many of us are finding ourselves at a complete loss right now without our normal rhythms. Perhaps this has been eye-opening for you to realize how much you depend upon rhythms for your sense of stability and security. We like to know what is happening next! And right now, many, including myself, feel lost in the unknown and the chaos.
I started thinking about how God is a God of rhythms. From the rhythmic beating of the human heart, to the rising and setting of the sun, to the change of seasons year after year, God clearly values steady and predictable rhythms as part of his ordered creation. The creation story in Genesis depicts God as very methodical and intentional as God brings order out of the chaos. After the work is finished, God rests. The Israelites were commanded to follow this pattern for their own lives, a pattern of work and rest. Even the land was given a time of rest (Sabbath) every seven years!
Rhythms are good, divine even. During this season when all our rhythms have gone awry, don’t panic. Make new ones. For some of us, this forced slowing-down actually provides the space we may have been longing for to make time for God. Take advantage of this disruption to your schedule to establish a better balance between work and rest. Believe it or not, the God of the universe enjoys spending time with us! I have a hard time wrapping my mind around that.
As I look outside my dining room window right now, I see the birds beginning to make their nests. I see buds forming on the trees. What a great reminder that even though our world seems to have come to a complete standstill, creation has not. The robins are proof that spring is still going to happen, just like it does every year. This current season will come to an end, and a new one will come.
Prayer: Creator God, you are perfect in all your ways. You are a God of order and rhythms, and you made me in your image. During this difficult season of total disruption in our world, help me cling to you, knowing you are steadfast, unchanging, and faithful. Help me to embrace new rhythms that include time with you. In Jesus’ name, amen.
This Week’s Challenge
- Go for a walk. It can be in your neighborhood, at the park, or whatever works best for you.
- Meditate on Psalm 19:1 - “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.”
- Notice the signs of spring as a reassurance that a new season will come. God is still in control. Listen to what God might be saying to you as you walk along.
Also, Check Out:
- “20 Prayers to Pray During This Pandemic” by Jen Pollock Michel
- Sacred Rhythms by Ruth Haley Barton