4 Rhythms For Christ-Followers
Somehow…for some reason, it’s September already. If you haven’t sighed yet from reading this, you can sigh now. However, the one good thing about September is that we usually get back into Rhythms. Kids are back in school, summer is coming to a close, Football games are on. It’s a bittersweet season of the year. And as we get back into our rhythms, Lauren and I wanted to share with you some rhythms we believe each Christ-follower should implement as they come into the Fall season.
1. Be Connected To A Community
Life has its ups and downs. Some weeks are better than others. Some days are worse than others. Whatever type of season you’re in, we can know for certain that we were created to be in community. We were created to do life together and none of us were created with every gift and talent. Being in a community allows us to go through life together; to support in the bad times, to celebrate in the good times, and to supplement when we recognize that we are just one piece of the puzzle in the Kingdom of God.
Some of you reading this may already be in a church or community of believers. Some of you may be in a small groups or whatever fancy word your church has created for it. The bottom line is that as you enter into this new season of life, make sure you’re connected with a community. Of course, we’ll always suggest you be in a church, but if you’re reading this and you’ve been burned by the church or burned out from church trust us when we say WE HEAR YOU! We have too and understand the hardships of finding the right community. Nevertheless, find a few people you trust who are Christ-followers who will be in some sort of community with you. If you don’t know anyone, feel free to reach out. We have a lot of connections and would love to help you find someone you can trust.
2. Make Room For God
Okay. I admit. This post is all about finding rhythms in your life. But this isn’t about creating a schedule and sticking to it. Whether you’re a parent, student, or just a person trying to keep up, we all know it can be almost impossible to create a daily routine that doesn’t have an interruption. This is why we say rhythm instead of routine. And the most important rhythm we can have in life is recognizing when we need to spend time with God. Jesus had a pretty solid rhythm when it came to life making sure He was present in every situation. Sometimes that meant escaping to relax and other times it meant engaging with those who needed Him.
Making room for God means a couple of things. First, we must be present where we are. Waking up each day and knowing that we are called to bring the Kingdom of Heaven to earth means that we are on God’s schedule and not our own. Secondly, there will always be distractions. Most of the time, they are just that – distractions. But being tuned into the Holy Spirit means that we have the ability to discern what’s a distraction and what’s a moment where God wants to use us. Matthew 19:13 comes to mind when the disciples saw children as a distraction but Jesus knew He was there to remind them of their place in the Kingdom. When Paul says to pray without ceasing in 1 Thess. 5:17, he’s calling us to be in constant communication with the One who sends us into the world to be the hands and feet of Jesus in this world.
3. Think About Others
Speaking of being the hands and feet of Jesus in this world, we are all called to be servant-leaders. We may not all have the gift of service or the calling to be a “leader” but we’re all called serve one another in love. In a recent sermon by Bill Ellis, he quotes Jimmy Valvano who said “To me there are three things everyone should do every day. Number one is laugh. Number two is think — spend some time time in thought. Number three, you should have your emotions move you to tears. If you laugh, think and cry, that’s a heck of a day.” But Dr. Ellis added a fourth thing to the list, “Everyday, make someone else’s day happier.”
When we get into rhythms of being in community and making room for God while being tuned into what God wants to do through us, our brains and hearts should naturally gravitate towards serving others. If we are to be like Jesus on this planet, and we are to follow Jesus, then we should put into practice the words of Jesus, “I did not come to be served but to serve. (Mark 10:45)” Peter says, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” (1 Peter 4:10). So as you’re planning out your days, weeks, and months, find ways to do as Dr. Ellis said, “Every day do something to bring a smile, to encourage, to build somebody else’s day.”
4. Rhythms of Self-Awareness
This may be the last on the list but please do not use this as a priority list. Probably one of the most important things you can do not only for yourself but for those closest to you is to get into a rhythm of self-awareness and self-care. In Mark 6:31 we see Jesus get away so He and the disciples could rest. In Matthew 14:22, Jesus gets away to be by himself and to pray. It doesn’t matter how busy you are, you need to get into the rhythm of taking time to rest. In seminary we were told to make a Sabbath sacred once a week. Then we were to take a 3 day Sabbath once a quarter and then one solid week of sabbath (note sabbath, not a crazy vacation), a year. Some of you may need more than that. But that’s where getting into rhythms of self-awareness come in.
I think everyone should be in counseling. But if you can’t afford it, find yourself someone you trust who will speak truth, love, and encouragement into your life. Find someone who will invest in you and build you up so that you can do the same for others. If you’re burned out in life it will be impossible to pour into other people effectively.
These are just suggestions and are by no means an exhaustive thorough study of the rhythms you NEED to incorporate into your routine. This is why we like the word rhythm. Rhythms allow you to navigate the ebb and flow through your day to be the most impactful and effective. The most important takeaway is to be available and obedient to do whatever God is calling you to do. Sometimes that means pushing through and getting your work done because by honoring your boss and your time, you honor God. Sometimes that means taking a 20 minute break instead of a 15 minute break because you need to minister to someone in need. Be discerning, be available, and be in communication with God.
About Justin Boothby