Friday, April 1, 2011


Rhythm. Rest.

They feed into one another, and create a self-sustaining cycle of life--if we practice them.

But, how does one find a consistent life rhythm when there doesn't seem enough energy to sustain even another day? Herein lies the problem, I'm afraid. We are so exhausted, as a culture, as individuals, that the ideas of rhythm, much less rest, are sadly distant concepts.

We live so thoroughly in the relentless day to day that we don't leave ourselves space enough to explore the possibility that life could be anything else. Sadly, I believe so much of this vicious cycle is self-inflicted. I know it is for me. I have convinced myself somehow that this is just how it is, or this is just how I am, and thus have become trapped within an idea of the world, or an idea of myself.

We convince ourselves that certain things in life are immovable obligations or essential to our existence, but it's often these very things--good and bad--that are killing us, so to speak.

For me, it's people. People are my passion. My heartbeat is relationships. Relationships for me are extremely life-giving. But, simultaneously, I am a person of extremes and in regards to relationships this can be one of my biggest detriments. I struggle to strike a balance, as with many things. I will continually push my boundaries--physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual--if it means relationships are pursued and maintained. Nothing is as important to me. Yet, I often do this at my own expense. I will forfeit sleep, health, other priorities, etc. for the sake of a good conversation or a meaningful interaction. It's all worth it to me. But, is it?

And it's something different for each of us. But, we must strive to identify our own individual imbalances, which are the perpetuators of this self-inflicted vicious cycle, in order to find remedy. We can be free, but it starts with us. And we have to want to be free.

It's ironic--rhythm, rest--are created and instituted by God, for our good. He desires us to live a full and abundant life, that's why he created such patterns. But, due to our own willfulness, and continually pursuing what we want, I believe we often miss out on that abundant life that's so freely offered us.

A friend told me recently that he needs rhythm in his life. He said, "I still want adventure, but I desire discipline." What an apt way to put it.

I don't think God views my emphasis on relationships as negative, or thinks my pursuit of them is evil, but He does know that when I place that pursuit as more important than my pursuit of Him, which entails a pattern of rhythm and rest, than something is wrong. God doesn't want to ruin our fun, quite the contrary. In fact, He wants us to live and experience Him and His blessings as fully as possible. But, we have to learn to live within the boundaries that He's given us, which include those of rhythm and rest.

For our good, we must learn to submit to these boundaries and patterns, and stop being like stubborn, foolish little children who refuse to lay down for nap time...

I don't know about you, but I'm getting tired.

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