God’s never in a hurry, but His timing is impeccable.
That’s one of my takeaways as I read Genesis again at the beginning of the year. Can you imagine what it was like for Noah to spend 100 YEARS building the world’s first cruise ship, and then to have raindrops start falling on his head just when the project was a wrap?
Then there was Rebekah. She went through the monthly cycle of monitoring, hoping for conception, and feeling disappointed close to 240 times before God brought all the elements together and breathed life in her previously barren womb. Years of aching, questioning, feeling forgotten only to be surprised by this double blessing in HIS perfect timing.
So as I think about learning the rhythms of the new dance God intends me to embrace this year, I’m looking for connections to help me understand His view of time. And, chapter 10 of Rhythms of Rest came to me on just the right day. Impeccable timing. I needed the reminder that every adjustment or transition necessarily involves moments of wanting to run back to the supposed safety of the known rather than pressing forward into the unknown.
Thinking on things like this keep me moving in the direction of rest:
“A Sabbath heart asks, ‘How can I embrace my limits? Am I willing to let go of whatever God is asking me to shed? Can I see how God uses narrowing my time as His will for the moment?’”
Embracing limits is so counter culture these days! But what if our best contribution comes in the place of our most narrow focus? Maybe a laser is more powerful than a floodlight, yes?
“The truth is, in order for anything to shift from a ‘should’ to a ‘joy’, from a practice to a lifestyle, and from novice to expert, requires an intentional, focused, and disciplined life.”
Like pruning, becoming more intentional, focused and disciplined comes with cutting away things that aren’t fruitful. I hate doing this to my houseplants, much less to my schedule! But, leaving the dead weight hanging there always hinders fruitfulness.
“Easy and light: Two words to use as a guideline when you are tempted to break your resolve to rest. First, ask yourself the question: Is what I’m considering easy and does it make me feel light? If the answer is no, then you know you are being bullied.”
This last concept staggers me. I was reaching for it more than a decade ago when I wrote “The Blessing of Boundaries” but back then I was still working from a framework of trying to figure out the steps to get life and ministry “right.” At the time, it felt like hard and heavy were the adjectives to strive for. The glory was in carrying the most weight on the way to martyrdom. The bullies were good at piling it on.
So, yes … throwing off the weight of legalistic practices and paradigms is going to take some time. Easy and light is a state of being I’m unaccustomed to. But, I’m confident that it’s going to feel more natural the longer I move at this new rhythm. So, today, I’m going to embrace the dance, even if I don’t get all the steps just so.