In the Old Testament, people’s lives moved with the rhythm of the eternal.
For example, there was a Sabbath, one rest day a week. There were festivals to be observed (Passover, Pentecost, and Sukkoth). Every seven years, debts were forgiven and even the fields got to rest. The pace of life was governed by your relationship with God, the Creator, the Lord.
The pace of my life? Rather than cycles of effort and rest, I push myself until I drop. I work until I’m exhausted. I keep going until I get sick, or burn out.
In the Old Testament, there were daily, weekly, monthly and seasonal sacrifices, feasts and festivals. So much of life revolved around appreciation, reconciliation and atonement. A renewed relationship with God led to restored relationships with family and friends. Regular patterns of worship led gave birth to healthy patterns of life.
In contrast, I feel guilty for taking time off. Time off is interrupted by emails, phone calls, and texts about things I could be doing if I weren’t taking time off. I pay more attention to those who insist I ought to be doing more and working longer hours than the one who says, “Be still and know that I am God.”
Rhythm. The steady rhythm of my heartbeat. The daily rhythm of sunrise and sunset, bedtime and time to wake up, of the music I’m listening to, of listening to God’s Word and speaking my prayers. So much of life consists of rhythm.
I’ll bet there’s a good reason for that. We were created with rhythm in mind. Day and night. A pulse. Respirations. Awake and asleep. Joy and sorrow. Alone and in a crowd. Together with loved ones. Life and death. Listening and speaking.
I want to my life to reflect the rhythm of the eternal. To live at Gods’ pace, God’s urgency, God’s patience, God’s priorities, God’s cycles.
Lord, help me to live by the rhythm of the eternal!