As I write this, it’s the first Monday after Labor Day.
It’s no longer socially acceptable to wear white, and summer is rapidly coming to an end.
This week signals something important for me: a new rhythm.
You may not notice it, but your life is filled with rhythm. I know, I know… You can’t dance. I’m not a great dancer either, but I have come to understand that my life is filled with rhythms.
Our summer is a chaotic rhythm. My wife is a public school teacher, and she is home for two and a half months each summer. Amanda is so gifted in many areas, but keeping a calendar is not her priority. Amanda lives each day with minimal regard for yesterday or tomorrow. It’s a beautiful perspective, but it’s so different from me. We have a very loose, unorganized schedule during the summer, but make no mistake… there is a rhythm.
During the summers, we wake up later. Our kids have more of a say in the flow and function of our days. My wife and my daughter celebrate birthdays in July. We take a few summer trips during the summer break to visit friends, spend time with family, and enjoy the beach.
Then school starts.
Immediately in mid-August, teachers report back to prepare for a new school year. The kids get back to school soon after that. Then, there’s Labor Day, a quiet three-day weekend in early September, followed by my birthday (typically that week).
And now… a new rhythm.
There is so much freedom in rhythm.
It seems a bit odd to say that because it feels as if rhythm would be confining. It’s not. Freedom always has boundaries.
Only a few different notes are used to create every song you’ve ever heard—three colors used in every piece of art you’ve ever seen.
Freedom and creativity thrive inside boundaries.
Life thrives in a rhythm.
From the beginning, God gave us a rhythm: six days of work followed by a day of rest. It was so important, God included this command in the formal Law delivered to Moses (Exodus 20:8-11). Jesus regularly showed us that he needed to withdraw and rest.
As our rhythm resets, I internally dream about what God could do in this season: What books will I read? What thoughts will I write? Where will God take me?
Let me ask you a few critical questions that have helped me understand the rhythm I’ve lived in:
1. What’s most important in this season?
Your time is a valuable resource. Your rhythm is creating space for what’s important. Are you giving adequate space to what’s really important?
Not every season has the same priorities. There have been times that I’ve needed rest, and there have been times that I needed to work. There have been seasons where I needed to be more devoted to home and seasons where I’ve needed to be more devoted to work. Make sure you are consistently asking this question as you enter a new season of life.
2. What’s not important in this season?
How many of us are chasing old dreams or trying to accomplish something we aren’t yet prepared to do?
This question helps process this moment. This moment is invariably different than every other moment. Every moment in our lives has different needs. As you process this season of life, it’ll be important to process this question.
Remember: Just because something isn’t important during this season doesn’t mean it’s not important. Declaring that something is unimportant during this season establishes it’s a priority as you set your rhythm.
3. Does Jesus have space to move in your life?
I sincerely believe that one of the reasons God insists that we rest is that we leave no room for God when we get busy. It’s easy to fill our lives with so many good things, but good things will never replace God.
Whatever your rhythm, remember these things:
It’s holy to work.
We are blessed to be able to enjoy this life.
Give your time and energy away to something eternal.
And… Always make room for Jesus.