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January 5, 2024


 

What rhythms do you have? What practices run through your day-to-day? When I wake up in the morning one of the first things that I do is get the coffee going. I help pack some lunches. I attempt to enjoy a cup of coffee before I head out the door. Most days I hit the gym at the end of the day before I head home. These are just some of my rhythms.


The New Year is a time that we often use to reflect on the things that we do or don’t do. We may resolve to stop some habits that aren’t good for us. We may commit or re-commit to things that will benefit our physical or mental health or things that will bring new life to a relationship. Whatever these things are, we are creatures who desire rhythm. Even after having taken the last two weeks of the year as vacation days from work, there was a piece of me who was ready to get back to the work/school routine in my house come January 1. Why? Because it doesn’t take long for our minds, bodies, and souls to crave the rhythms that govern our lives and point us forward.


I think we got that from our Father. From the beginning of the Scriptures, we see God creating in rhythm. The poetry of Genesis 1 shows us the beauty and rhythmic nature of God’s movements. There was nothing, he spoke something into existence, and it was good. Over and again. He even sat back on his heavenly throne on the seventh day as a sabbath rest from his work to look lovingly at his creation. That is a rhythm he gave to us as well. God gave Israel holy days, laws, and worshipful practices to keep them in step with his own heart. Jesus was the perfect example of living life in rhythmic connection to the Father. Jesus fasted, he frequently shared meals with sinners, he constantly went to solitary places to pray and commune with God. You can see Jesus pass this down in the practices of the early Church. They shared meals together, gave to and served the poor faithfully, worshiped together, prayed together, fasted together, and learned the ways of Jesus together. For hundreds of years after Jesus’s death, these were the daily and weekly rhythms that guided the habit of Christians.


What or who guides your rhythms? I think it’s important to recognize something. In Scripture there is no such thing as your “spiritual life.” We tend to categorize our lives into domains. We have our physical health, our mental health, our work life, our school life, our family/home life, our social life, and then we have our church and spiritual life. But Scripture never once uses that phrase. It never hints at the idea. There is no life outside of the life that is to be wholly devoted to God. Everything about our lives (our work, our relationships, our entertainment) is spiritual. Let us make one quick resolution together this week: We will stop using the phrase “spiritual life” in 2024! Fair? Got it? Great! You just have a life.


With that in mind, what do your life rhythms say about your spirit and your priorities? Recently, I’ve been challenged to consider the rhythms that feed my soul on the things of Christ and will draw me deeper toward God’s voice and his heart. I want to create new rhythms in my life from where I can draw to influence every part of who I am. I want to adopt practices in my day-to-day that keeps my heart connected to God all day long. Almost like I am in constant conversation or awareness of God throughout my day and not just only when I’m reading Scripture or praying on my drive to work. This isn’t going to be easy.


I came across these questions that I have begun to read through, pray on, and consider each day of this new year (keep in mind, it’s only been a few days)! This is just one practice I am attempting to adopt in my day:


God, what would be pleasing to you today?

Jesus, what should I think about right now?

Jesus, is there anything you want to say to me right now?

Lord, is there anything you want to say through me to the person in front of me right now?


I want to learn to ask these questions and listen to His voice.


We crave rhythms like our bodies crave rest at the end of a long day. Our Heavenly Father created us to flourish in rhythms. The question is what kind of rhythms are guiding our lives? And where are those practices leading us? There are so many things fighting for our attention and priority. They all scream loudly. But more than anything in 2024, your Heavenly Father wants your heart more deeply connected to his. Take one step to create one new rhythm this month. Stick with it. Don’t worry about outcomes. God will take care of that. Just show up.


Happy New Year!


Nathan



Nathan Hinkle

Lead Pastor

White Oak Christian Church





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