We all follow a rhythm in life - often it's an echo of the rhythms around us. In a family you might be caught up in school/sports/playdate rhythms which seem constantly demanding, whether you are kid or parent. If you're young and single you might be in a rhythm of adventure and fun and friends around the clock. If you're building a business you might be in a constant to do list rhythm of meetings and paperwork. The rhythm of life is sometimes too loud, too fast, too harsh. For others it is too sparse, the rhythm has silent rest sections that last too long. I'm going to propose a radical idea here: we're supposed to follow a constant holy rhythm. God established this rhythm from the beginning, and let me throw this out there - I don't think He was actually tired on Sunday after spending a week creating. I don't think He was weary, yawning, eyes half closed and soul-tired after those six days of wonder and majesty. That just doesn't line up with the all powerful, never changing God I know. Isaiah 40:8 tells us that He neither faints or is weary. He very purposefully designated the day of rest, choosing to pause, and was sure to let us know so that we could hear the holy rhythm. Genesis describes the moment for us - how the Creator rested from His work, blessed that seventh day, and sanctified it. A reference in Exodus to this event says that God was rested and refreshed - the translation of the word refreshed here is synonymous with breathe. So you could say, He stopped to take a breath. In His pausing, a new thing was created. A holy rhythm.
We all know about the sabbath day, in fact it's only in recent years that stores and shops in the north american culture have opened their doors and scheduled employees on Sundays. It wasn't long ago that you couldn't go to a movie or buy your groceries on a Sunday because the entire culture recognized the importance of the holy rhythm. Almost every religion you can look up has a version of this rhythm - slightly altered and skewed, but an echo even so. (Raise your hand if you know the enemy only copies, he never creates.)
Even with this permeated knowledge of holy rest, we seem to find it awfully hard in our daily rhythms. I can see it in the frazzled faces around me, and often my own reflection. I see it in the pride our culture has of being busy. I see it in the addiction to social media, and I see it in the children who's best stories are not their own but from a screen. I want to give you permission to change your rhythm. And I want you to give God permission to carry this rhythm to every corner of your life.
Let the holy rhythm of rest echo in your schedule, your relationships, and your growth. Relationships should not take strenuous work 100% of the time - they should have seasons of rest and playfulness. If you pay attention to your journey with God, there is both the valley and the mountaintop. We're not meant to spend all our time in one or the other. Each day, each week, each year should have a portion of rest. There are some new studies that show we're more effective in our work when we take a break of 10 minutes every hour. Every hour! I've never had a job like that but it sounds luxurious to me.
You should rest even if you're not yet weary. You should rest even though your to do list is long. You should rest even if you will let someone down. You should rest even if it means letting go. To rest requires trust of the only One who can coordinate our rhythms. Who knows - you might be holding someone back by refusing to rest. You might be adding things to your list that belong on someone else's. Beloved, pursue this holy rhythm - there are some gifts that can only be unwrapped within it.
Establishing this rhythm might require a big shift for you, and those around you. It's a choice you have, and sometimes it takes a difficult yes or no that doesn't come naturally. Is your life echoing this holy rhythm?