Sunday, January 11, 2015

The Unforced Rhythm of Grace

What was I thinking?

Those were my first thoughts one morning when I tried to get out of bed after I first started working out after a two year hiatus. Everything hurt! I pushed harder than I should have, hoping that if I did I would see quick results. I enjoyed the fitness class I was attending but was being reminded with every step, every movement, that I was going to have to pay for the time I spent not working out consistently over the past couple of years. I wasn't mad about being sore, I was mad that I allowed myself to get so out of shape in the first place!

When you take time away from fitness, you lose your fitness. You are more sore. You are less flexible. You are more tired. You cannot go as hard as you used to go.

And you know better.  

It takes a few weeks to make a habit and I found that just before I would get to the place where it might become a habit, I would always find excuses not to continue.

I'm busy. I'm tired. I'm worn out. I'm....well, you get the picture.

I can get into this same rut with my spiritual fitness. 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. 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 as 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! It will take discipline and time. But it will be worth it. Don't give up!

 “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)

1 comment:

Rick Barry said...

All good points, Leslie. The spirit strives against the flesh, and the flesh against the spirit. Combine that with outright spiritual warfare (even though it be invisible to the eye), and it's easy to become weary in well doing.

Keep on keeping on. Do right until the stars fall. Blessings to you!

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