It’s Not Too Late to Start
We’ve come through a long year and are well into 2021. I hope you can take a deep breath with me as we continue to press into what this year means to you. The message on my mind is: “Get started.”
More specifically, to start walking with God in an intentionally more profound way; to choose to press in proactively. It is never too late to begin. In fact, fresh chances to start happen every day.
1 Thessalonians 4:7 says, “God has called us not for uncleanness, but for holiness.”
In other words, He has called us for “dedication to the service of and worship of God.” Since this is what we are called into, it makes sense to set our intention and attention.
God has set us free from bondage. So, what do we do with that freedom? How can we use this freedom to walk more in step with the Spirit of God, and not default to drift without guidance?
Rhythms is a tool to help us dedicate our whole lives - heart, soul, mind, and body - in step with God. We can get started in our intentional walk with Him by using Rhythms.
Create your rhythm of life
The “create my rhythm of life” process will give you a set of practices for your heart, soul, mind, body, and relationships. If you haven’t already, check out the website Rhythms.me, which will help you design your personalized rhythm of life. After making your way through the prompts it will give you a downloadable template for your daily practices. Use the design as a guide to your daily and weekly rhythms.
Start living your rhythm of life
Now that you have a template for reference, make it tangible. A plan is only the first step. Take ownership of the plan by taking action on it.
“If it’s a lifestyle you seek, just as so many other disciplines, you can start with the outward expression and allow your behavior to guide your attitude. Begin with duty and move toward delight.” -Shawn Blanc
If things feel foreign or it still feels ethereal, that’s normal. Just like an infant learning to walk, you will build confidence as you take a step. I would suggest starting by choosing one rhythm and focus on that for a while.
“It is better to have one goal that you take action on than it is to have a dozen resolutions that you ignore after a few days.” -Shawn Blanc
With your rhythm of choice, start with a small amount. Over time, this initial movement will create some momentum that you can then build on. Once you get more familiar with one rhythm, you can add more time to it, add another rhythm, and so on. Eventually, you’ll have the whole rhythm of life down.
Next, use a reminder prompt that works for you. For example, setting alarms for the chosen times of day to remind yourself. Or, what may work for you is adding it to your daily to-do list, to your calendar, or putting sticky notes around your living space. Keep your rhythm of life plan somewhere in sight so that it’s top of mind.
You may also need to foster or cultivate room in which the action can grow. Set it before you in your mind, have a place, and have needed resources at the ready. This way, when the time comes to do it, you are already set up to focus your attention on it.
God is Faithful
From your rhythm of life plan, select a category that you believe God wants you to start with (heart, soul, mind, strength, neighbor, or reach). Then consider a manageable action step that you can take on the chosen practice. If you’re already doing several, what practice might God want you to deepen, or add?
As you figure out each new practice, you can adjust the dials as needed. Once you have a flow going with one, try adding another rhythm from your plan.
You may find that your capacity for these practices will increase, and once you know all the steps, you will be dancing in rhythm.
“Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit, and soul, and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it” (1 Thess 5:23-24).