This past Monday while eating breakfast, I opened up the sliding door to our deck, not just to enjoy the cool autumn-like air, but also to listen to the high school marching band practicing for Friday's Homecoming football game. I enjoyed hearing the trumpets blast the melodies, woodwinds providing ornamentation, and the lower brass filling out the sound.
But what held everything together were the percussionists.
Without the steady rhythm and beat provided by the bass drums, snares, and toms, the sound not only would have been lacking, but there would have been the risk that certain instrumental sections and/or individuals would have musically rushed ahead or dragged behind. What helped all the instruments stay together was the steady, consistent beat of the percussion section.
Whether you realize it or not, your life is like a high school band. You live out a melody through the way you talk and interact. You provide ornamentation through your wardrobe, facial expressions, vocal tone, and more. And the "lower brass" of your life is the consistency of your character.
But for all of this to hold together, you need some sort of rhythm in which to live. If one minute your words and actions are chaotic, then moments later you are sluggish and quiet, you will not only find others struggling to connect with you, but your life will feel like a bit of a mess.
That's why we are engaging in a blog series entitled Resting in Rhythms of Grace. Today, I want to talk about some "rhythms" you can engage in daily to help your life feel consistent.
Before I share some suggested rhythms, let me remind you: You are unique! Take and use my suggestions however you want/need. The point isn't to engage in these rhythms in order to check off some sort of box. The goal is to connect with Christ and find rest in Him.
So while many of you will find it helpful to incorporate some of these rhythms into your morning routine, a few of you might find these rhythms more beneficial during your lunch break or right before bed. Examine yourself and the way God has wired you as you consider the following ideas.
Read or listen to a portion of Scripture each day. My parents have a rhythm of reading the Bible while eating breakfast. I know others who listen to an audio Bible while commuting to work. Many people find reading plans helpful (we have some on our Freebies page). If you want a digital Bible, we recommend the YouVersion Bible app, which has multiple translations, reading plans, and audio Bibles.
God invites you to talk with Him, so take advantage of this rhythm! Set aside a time to focus on prayer, even if for just a minute or two. But also consider "breath prayers" that you can utter throughout your day.
Other prayer ideas to help you "stay on beat":
The Greek word for "spirit" is the same word for "breath." In the minds of those who spoke ancient Greek (including the biblical writers of the New Testament), breath and spirit seem to be tied together.
This doesn't mean when you breathe in, you are literally breathing in the Holy Spirit. (If you are a follower of Jesus, Ephesians 1:13-14 makes it clear you already have the Holy Spirit.) Nor does it mean when you breathe out, you've unknowingly breathed out your soul.
But sometimes stopping to do focused breathing can help you find a moment of rest deep in your heart and soul. I've heard the "4-7-8" breathing method recommended (breathe in for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 7 seconds, then breathe out for 8.) I highly recommend incorporating prayer into your rhythm of intentional breathing.
Some people find journaling to be an especially helpful rhythm. Rather than let the mind bounce around in confusion throughout the day, writing things down helps to bring a semblance of order. Some people write out their prayers. Some write out the Scripture. Some simply share their thoughts. But the goal of journaling isn't to write a book; it's to connect with God.
This suggestion is a bit dangerous as it could lead you into the dreaded YouTube vortex which is incredibly difficult to escape. But some people find watching something like a RightNow Media video each day helps them think about the gospel and God's work in them and through them. (If you need a free RightNow Media login, simply email us.)
While some people watch a Bible study or sermon video each day, others prefer to listen to a Christ-centered podcast or sermon while on their daily walk or daily commute.
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