It seems life has a rhythm.
Most of us fall into this – get up in the morning, work out, shower, eat breakfast, many pray or read the Bible or a devotional, drive to work, work, drive home, eat (again) and do something in the evening. And we seem to think it’s monotonous and all we want to do is break the rhythm.
The Apostle Paul, quoted in Romans 7, had this to say about his own desires, “ I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good.As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.“
I seem to want to break up the monotony of my life – the rhythm – all too frequently. But is that my desire or God’s?
Our patterns in our lives develop over time and through repetition – physical work outs, eating right, taking time out of life to just chill, praying and meditating. None of these work instantaneously – they impact our lives through discipline and repetition – the only way they work. And when we lack doing these things in a regular, disciplined way, the results are apparent.
I found this past fall I fell out of my rhythm – my job was ending, my life was over busy, I wasn’t exercising regularly, wasn’t eating right and especially I wasn’t taking time to invest in my relationship with God. So, I went on vacation for a couple of weeks.
One would think that would be the cure – but it just got more pronounced – then I really fell out of rhythm – I’m away from home, not much of a schedule, spend all day playing around, eating terrible, almost no time made for God. The melt down happened shortly thereafter.
On the golf course during the last round with three of the guys I look so forward to spending time with each fall, I played poorly. That happens from time to time, but in this case, it just frosted me. I haven’t been that upset while playing golf in a really, really long time. That makes me feel small. Whatever the words were I used they were tempered from what I REALLY felt.
On the plane ride home later that day I continued my reading of The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence and marveled at his personal, regular, ongoing contact with God; and how it seemed he kept things in perspective. No doubt I was very far away from having the relationship with God that he had, or even that I have enjoyed in the recent past.
I’m so glad that God gave me that lesson. That he provide me the insight to make the connection caused by my lack of rhythm and discipline in my life and how that for me isn’t how I remain healthy and connected to him. He used a round of golf on a vacation to teach this to me – and reading the book by Brother Lawrence sealed the deal.
I got up the next morning, at home, and restarted the rhythm in my life.