Join the Dance: Unforced Rhythms of Grace
This is an invitation into a rhythm of life. It does not put more requirements on you. Instead, it is an offer to join the dance, and step into the "unforced rhythms of grace.”
Ok, so you are interested in stepping into new rhythms?
Life is filled with busyness, disruption, and turmoil. Having a framework of consistency and health for your soul sounds exactly like what you need. However, at the same time, as you begin to step into developing these rhythms and initiating these spiritual practices, it seems like a lot and is a bit overwhelming. Perhaps you are thinking, “I am already maxed out, so busy and overwhelmed… and now you are telling me, in order to live the right way, I need to add on rhythms for my heart, soul, mind, strength, and neighbor?!”
Well, hold on, because I would love to offer you some encouragement.
Because while those feelings are all completely understandable, I believe they are coming from the wrong perspective. The perspective of seeing “rhythms” as a bunch of rules and tasks is what has actually derailed generations of Christians for generations. It is that perspective that hurls us down the path of legalism. Legalism and striving are what happens when we make rhythms about a set of rules, or practices, that we “need to do,” as opposed to a lifestyle that we live. And this lifestyle is not centered on rules, but on a relationship with a person who infinitely loves us and brings us freedom.
It is not always about doing more; in fact, it is often about doing less.
Rhythms is about re-ordering your life around Jesus. The rhythms themselves, and even your entire Rhythm of Life, are not the end game. The end game is Jesus. The endgame is a lifestyle of ongoing communion with the Trinity - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Rhythms just helps us live this out.
This is not a New Year’s resolution of obligations for the Christian life. It is a lifelong invitation to join a dance with our creator.
I love the word “rhythm,” because it speaks of ongoing movement and repetition, which drives formation. It speaks of addition and subtraction, and it all points to something greater.
The Merriam Webster definition of rhythm is:
Rhythm: an ordered recurrent alternation of strong and weak elements in the flow of sound and silence in speech.
At its core, from the Greek, “rhythm” means “to flow.”
Rhythm in music essentially makes a song move; it drives us to dance, to tap our feet. However, the rhythm is not the end goal of creating a song. We create a song to tell a story, to evoke emotion, to derive beauty. Yet, you can’t have a song without a rhythm. The rhythm is the foundation of a song’s flow and movement; it holds it all together. Just as the right rhythm allows music to flow, good and healthy rhythms in our lives allow us to flow more freely as we were designed. The song of our life can resonate when it has the right foundation of rhythms.
Jesus had a rhythm to his life.
He was not only a teacher, who taught us principles, but he very specifically came down as a human being. He embodied humanity perfectly by living a kind of life that was in constant communion with God. He lived a life that was never hurried or rushed, a life free of anxiety, yet chock-full of purpose and value. This is the kind of life we long to have.
Designing a “rhythm of life” in line with Jesus comes from the core idea that there is as much to be gained from believing what Jesus said as doing and living as Jesus did.
Rhythms invites us into the lifestyle of Jesus.
We don’t want to just know and believe what he said, but to live as he lived. This is an invitation that does not require us to “do things for Jesus,” but to re-design our life to look like his. To follow his footsteps into the “unforced rhythms of grace,” to learn to live freely and lightly as we join into the rhythm of the way of Jesus.