Conga Drum Player

GIMME A BEAT! That’s how Janet Jackson begins her song, Nasty Boys, wherein she states, “… The only nasty thing I like is the nasty groove.” The song is punctuated with a funky beat, and the video with a lot of funky moves… a perfect vehicle to get your “groove on”… to show some “rhythm”; and rhythm is what I want to talk about today… just not that kind of rhythm.

DO YOU HAVE RHYTHM? 

Last week I talked about Identity, this week I want to discuss rhythm. The rhythm I’m speaking of has to do with one’s schedule. Specifically, how do you live the 24 hours per day God has given you?

Like identity, rhythm has an impact on how we minister. With it, there is effectiveness and flow; without it there is anxiety and stress. As our group talked about the book of Mark, and what God was saying to them regarding it, it became clear that another aspect that was “out of sync” in many lives was rhythm. Many were “living for the weekend” and not experiencing much rest. In fact, many were indulging in mindless activities that only distracted them from the events of the day and week, but really did not give them rest and allow them to re-create as God intended.

The problem is we have turned God’s intended pattern on its head and begun to rest from our work rather than work from our rest as God intended. You read that right.

We are to work from our rest, not the other way around. From the beginning we were meant to live and breathe, work and rule, from a place of dependence upon God. Our work was to steward that which God had given us, and in doing so we would be honoring the image He imprinted upon us.

To “… be fruitful and multiply” was a blessing, not a curse! As our identity has been skewed, we have sought to find and fix it in other things – like work. We look to work to provide money to support the trappings we’ve amassed, which supports the false identity we’ve erected, in an effort to fill the void in our wounded psyche. The blessing has become a curse and we wonder; “how do we get free?” The answer is rhythm!

We have to establish a rhythm of life that generates the outcome we desire. If you want a crop of apples, you don’t plant radishes (unless you’re Monsanto – I know, sorry). If you want to grow a life that honors God, you don’t plant that which dishonors His plan and intention. This is tough, because you cannot establish functional rhythms if you do not know who and whose you are. If you do not recognize that the affirmation you seek, the significance you crave, and the security you desire is provided by a loving God who already “… knows that you need them”; you will forever be on the treadmill – seldom filled, seldom refreshed, and unlikely to fulfill God’s purpose for your life.

If we know who and whose we are, we have incredible freedom, freedom to make plans based on the kingdom; on the basis of being in right relationship with God, and the worries of tomorrow need not dominate us.

We don’t have time to address it here, but having this freedom allows us to create a rhythm that supports our Up, In, and Out… to live as Jesus did. Jesus lived his life in three relationships: Up—with his Father; In—with his chosen followers; and Out—with the hurting world around him. You never see Jesus harried or anxious – ok, other than the garden but I think we all would give him a pass for that. That comes from intentionality and focus. Being focused about what is truly important (seek first the kingdom of God), leading to intentional efforts to understand God’s particular imprint on us as individuals (what or who am I called to), which leads to a life lived to the fullest. A life filled with proper flows of resting, receiving, filling, and giving.

So, do you have rhythm? … gimme a beat!

Mike

Portrait A