I used to imagine in my future that every day would hold something new. In the past couple of years, though, that future hasn’t seemed exhilarating. Instead, it seemed exhausting. In my 21st century American context, constant busyness is good, preferable even. I worried that life might not measure up if it didn’t meet this standard of “busy.” But it seemed less and less like what I actually wanted my life to be. God met me in those feelings of worry, revealing the importance of day in and day out sacred rhythms in my walk with Him.
Somehow, it took a pandemic for me to realize the importance of rhythm in my walk with Jesus. Every rhythm I knew had to be upturned for me to miss them. I wondered, “Who am I if my rhythms are shaken?” That question was hard for me to answer, but it led me to an even more important question, “Who am I if my rhythms don’t point me to Christ?” Soon, it felt like everywhere I looked I could see holy and sacred but also ordinary and regular rhythms that enrich my walk with Christ. I’ve experienced how regularly occurring practices and habits are a good gift we can use to be ushered into the presence of the One who created us.
God is the one who introduced us to rhythms in the very beginning. During Creation, “There was evening, and there was morning…” (Genesis 1:5 NIV) and it’s continued rhythmically since that moment in Genesis. In my own life, rhythms help me draw close to Jesus. As St. Augustine wrote in his work Confessions, “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.” I know firsthand the fidgety, troubled heart that comes when I do not rest in God. Here are three examples of ways rhythms have pointed me to Christ, helping me rest in His presence and know and love Him more.
Weekly and Yearly Rhythms
During my time as a summer intern with Edify, I got to join in on the staff’s weekly prayer calls. Each Monday the team joins together from around the world to celebrate what God is doing and pray for each other and the communities they serve. It’s just the right way to start the week. As the whole world speeds up again after the weekend, we set aside time to slow down to be with God and with each other.
This time, repeated every week, reminds us all that “unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain” (Psalm 127:1 NIV).
Personal Faith Traditions
In my faith tradition, every Sunday, the congregation receives a benediction just before we’re dismissed. As I stand, palms and eyes aimed upward, I hear these words spoken over me. “The Lord bless you and keep you; to make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you. May He lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace,” (Numbers 6:24-26 ESV). As I gaze up at the wooden cross at the front of the sanctuary, I listen intently to the pastor’s words. Though I always know exactly what he’s about to say.
The truth is, at the end of a hard week, filled with life’s struggles and disappointments and irritations, it can be easy to forget. It can be easy to forget I’m blessed, kept by the Lord, and that He turns His face toward me, to forget that I am His beloved child. All the people say together, “Amen.” I close my hands around the truth I’ve just heard, feeling the words in my clasped fingers even when I don’t feel them to my core. This weekly rhythm reminds me of the truth of God’s unchanging character. It reminds me that He would bless me even at the end of a hard week. Even when I forget what He’s done, and even when all I can do is hold out my hands and receive the blessing.
Every year, many Western Christians observe Advent. At the end of a long year, I often feel like things are wrapping up and coming to an end. The yearly rhythm of Advent reminds me that there’s still something to prepare for and to wait on. It’s that God has never run on our calendar year but on His own perfect timing. Before we celebrate Christmas, the birth of Jesus, we take a moment to reflect, contemplating the broken world we live in. This annual rhythm makes the celebration of His coming all the richer.
As Tish Harrison Warren wrote, “Christians believe the light is more real and more enduring than the darkness.”
What do your rhythms look like?
In the midst of our busy schedules, I invite us all to take a few moments to reflect on the rhythms in our own lives. I hope you find that even seemingly mundane habits can usher you into the presence of God. After all, He is Lord over both the ordinary, and extraordinary.
This is my prayer for us all:
God, thank You that you are the same yesterday, today, and forever. May we focus on You in the midst of busyness, and remember that You alone sustain us. Would You reveal yourself to us daily, so we may love You and Your children more. Amen.
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