Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Unforced Rhythm of Grace

What was I thinking?

Those were my first thoughts when I tried to get out of bed early this morning. Everything hurts! I feel pretty sore - probably because I've made the decision, again, to start working out harder. I've enjoyed the class I'm attending but I'm being reminded with every step, every movement, that I'm paying for the time I spent not working out consistently over the past couple of years.

Seems I'm slow to learn the lesson that I am being taught so often these days: When you take time away from fitness, you lose your fitness. You are more sore. You are less flexible. You are more tired. And you know better.  It takes a few weeks to make a habit and I feel like just before I get to the place where it's a habit, I always find excuses not to continue. But I'm busy. I'm tired. I'm worn out. I'm....well, you get the picture.

It's kind of like this with my spiritual life, too, sometimes. I find myself slipping away from God, away from His church, away from His Word, not listening to His voice. I find myself more weary. I'm less hope-filled. My focus turns to the negative. And I know better. But I'm busy. I'm tired. I'm worn out. I'm....well, you get the picture.

Why is it so hard to do the things that are the most important for us? Why must it be so hard to do the things that matter most? Maybe it's because we need to want it more than anything else and sometimes wanting something important over wanting something comfortable and easy can be tricky. And it's easy to lose sight of that in this busy world. But what do we really want?

It's so hard to get in the habit of going to church and so easy to lose it.

It's so hard to be still and spend time listening for God's voice and so easy to ignore it.

It's so hard to pray and so easy to lose my focus.

It's so hard to do the right thing and stand for Truth and so easy to compromise.

It's so hard to go to the gym and so easy to stay home.

Life can be so hard.

But it doesn't have to be.

There is a place you reach in your spiritual and physical life where it's not hard to do these things anymore, it's actually harder not to do them. I think it's called the unforced rhythm of grace. And it is possible to live in that rhythm! Here's the formula:

 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28-30 (MSG)

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