Finding a healthy rhythm in life can be elusive, but Jesus invites us to find an unforced rhythm of grace. He promises not only physical rest for the soul and emotional relief from stressors such as worry or fear; he also provides spiritual nourishment that will fill your heart with joyousness (Matthew 11:28). We don’t have time here tonight so I won’t try going into all sorts
The input is about finding balance through figuring out what partakes well within each area while still maintaining togetherness without sacrificing personal uniqueness – how does one do this? It’s mentioned at times when people feel they are too busy/too focused on other aspects leading them away from their calling
Does your life seem balanced? That word has always felt elusive to me as if it means all the plates representing my life need to be perfectly proportioned and in the air. I am not sure it’s even attainable. Instead, Jesus invites us to find an “unforced rhythm of grace.”
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” MSGMatthew 11 28-30
How can we recover our lives? Is it possible we can be successful, and still have the margin to enjoy life?
Consider these strategies:
- Cut back on the non-essentials. Is everyone and everything that consumes your time and energy worth it? Prioritization is a critical skill to develop as leaders. It is understanding intuitively that every yes is a no to something else possibly more important to you. Write down your priorities, ask for accountability, and check them against what the Bible teaches.
- Avoid wasting time. Consider all the ways you spend your time. Is every TV show, internet search, or online shopping trip worth it? According to John Eldredge in his book, “Get Your Life Back,” the average American picks up their phone eighty times a day. What would happen if we cut that number is half? How might time be better used? The more we apply time towards what matters to us, the healthier rhythm we will establish.
- Value physical, emotional, and mental health. Giving our health a high level of priority brings life to the rest of our choices. When health is important, there’s time and energy to eat properly and exercise. We’ll get enough sleep, make time for a friend, and journal. Placing importance on our health can prevent the rest of our life from feeling out of control.
- Plan time wisely. Have a plan for your week and each day. Every night I get a notecard and draw a line down the middle. On the left, I write my schedule for the following day, and on the right, I record items/calls/tasks I would ideally accomplish. This helps me to feel like I am in control of the day and its expectations, rather than it “happening” to me.
- Understand your style. Some people like to start their day with their most complicated tasks, and then fill in with the more mundane or easier-to-accomplish to-do’s. Some are the opposite, beginning with simple tasks that build momentum for more trying assignments. Some like to work in long, uninterrupted chunks, while others are more effective in small bite-sized time frames. There are early morning workers and night owls. However you work best, find the rhythm, and do your best to stick to it.
- Review consistently. Life is dynamic and requires us to keep our fingers on the pulse of our lives. How is our pace? What is our perspective? How is our margin? Notice when things are starting to spin out of control, and make the necessary adjustments sooner versus later.
- Have reasonable expectations. In our house, we say “expectations are like premeditated resentments.” There’s only so much you can do and expect of others! Understanding what we are capable of and giving grace to ourselves (and others) is part of a healthy rhythm.
- Rest well. Rest re-aligns, it recommits us to a life we feel purpose in. Have you ever thought to yourself— how did I get here? When did this happen? Rest is designed to be this once a week check in- did something get out of sync and how fast can you course correct?
Unforced rhythms of grace are invitational and show the world you are trusting Someone else is in control. It’s because of His sovereignty we can rely on His guidance for where, how, and with whom to share our life. It requires listening to the Lord and obeying His prompting- but when we do this, our focus shifts from our perspective and goals to His, and the result is a life lived freely and lightly.