Have you ever danced with someone who doesn’t have any rhythm? If not, maybe it’s because you are that person who doesn’t indeed have rhythm. But if you have danced with someone who just can’t hear the music and how they should correspondingly move, you know that it’s painful. There’s no rhyme or reason to when your partner is moving or how quickly or slowly. There’s no consistency.
But isn’t this true of so many of us in our daily lives? Leave Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and the dance floor behind and think about your last six months. If it’s anything like mine, it’s either faster than the speed of light or crazy slow. And to be honest, the crazy slow only comes because I exhaust myself running from a weekend trip to side hustle to normal job to seeing my friends to church to spending time with my wife. Even thinking through that sentence, I’m feeling fatigued. And we’re just getting into the holiday season which means traveling to family celebrations, friends’ parties, office events and general merriment abounding all around us.
Christmas time is my favorite, but I know that it is also very busy for us.
Surely this pace between craziness and exhaustion isn’t the cycle we’re meant to live in. We’re like those people with no rhythm on the dance floor. No rhyme or reason just moving around because we feel like we’re supposed to. But we don’t want to do that! Remember how difficult it is to dance with those people! We want to find our sweet spot. We want to be like Will Smith in Hitch. Just swaying side to side, nice and rhythmically. In our lives, I think that nice side-to-side sway is what’s ultimately sustainable.
So the question becomes, how? How do we find a consistent rhythm that doesn’t wear us out? Luckily, I think there are some things we can put into practice that help us slow down.
1. Use your mornings.
This summer, our church did a series called “Lazy River” that was about how to find rest amidst the busyness of life, and our pastor, Kevin Queen, said something that stuck with me. He said:
“Sure, you can do your quiet time at night. There’s nothing unbiblical about that, but I would ask you if you know any musicians who tune their instruments after the performance.”
That really stuck with me and has changed the importance that I put on getting up early to spend time with God. If I go to bed just 30 minutes earlier, waking up that much earlier isn’t a problem. Waking up and spending time in prayer and reading Scripture brings an opportunity to take a deep breath before starting even the busiest of days. After all, God’s very nature is to be peaceful, and the way I start my day often dictates the way the rest of the day goes. A peaceful start to the morning means a sustaining strength throughout the day.
2. Find the pockets.
Now ideally, this would say something like “practice Sabbath.” Unfortunately though, that wouldn’t be truthful or fair for me to give you the advice to take a Sabbath every week. I know it’s Biblical, and I think that if you’re able to make it a rhythm in your life, that is ideal. I’m striving towards it, but finding pockets of time for Sabbath rest is my intermediate option right now. One of the biggest ways that I find rest is spending low-key time with my closest friends. However, our lives are all crazy busy, so as much as we try to plan times to hang out, we often resort to saying, “Let’s just try to find some pockets when we’re both free.”
Whatever it is that brings you rest and helps you to slow down from the laundry list of obligations you have, find the pockets wherever you can and take advantage.
I do want to add a note here of something I learned recently. I was reading through Hebrews 4, and in verse 11, the author talks about finding rest in the Lord. That is immediately followed up by verse 12 which begins discussing the importance of God’s Word, the Bible. I think that’s such an interesting connection between resting and digging in to God’s Word. I think Hebrews shows us that when we rest, we should be looking to spend time with God to find His peace and rest.
These are just two of the things that I am trying to put into practice in my life, and I think we can all agree they are very doable. We don’t need to completely shut down everything we do that makes our life feel busy. We just need to balance those things and know when we need to get back to our center. We need to find the times of rest and the times of busyness and how they can play off of each other. We need to find our rhythm in the truest sense of the word.