Rhythm

“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.”
Jesus of Nazareth

Everyone used to ask my how I stayed plugged into the market when I was away from the trading floor.  The reality was that I didn’t.  The Wall Street Journal was yesterday’s news and even trying to keep up with how the markets were moving in a given day through following market levels was still 1-2 standard deviations away from the rhythm of the daily market.

I used to race to the office to sit down any get dialed in before the market opened…EXHALE.

I would check where the markets were closing overseas and what had happened to rates as a result overnight…INHALE.

Domestic economic indicators would be released and the market would start to unwind its’ bets causing market adjustments…EXHALE.

Domestic markets would open and the reaction to and speculation about all of the above would begin to unfold…INHALE.

Throughout the day, there would be announcements, market news, and earnings reports that would disrupt and move the market which caused everyone to adjust their positions again…EXHALE, INHALE, etc…

How in the world was just checking in on a snapshot of market rates or opening up the Journal the next morning, supposed to provide any semblance of understanding on the market versus what I described above?  It couldn’t…not possible.

I listened to a young man on a podcast recently describing his investigation of a monastery on-line.  He was convicted as he read about their approach to prayer.

“We don’t find ways to fit prayer into our regular life.  We actually live a life of prayer and we find ways to fit our regular life into that.”

Before we dismiss that as opportunity that only monastics can enjoy, look at the life of Jesus and the rhythms of his life.  Clearly, Kingdom living looks a lot more like what the monks were describing than the life most of us live. 

Soon after that, the guy on the podcast heard another young man asking a mentor about how he should allocate his 15 minute quiet time to make it most effective.  The mentor replied,

“I don’t think God is rather concerned about your 15 minute quiet time.  He is far more concerned about what you do with the other 23 hours and 45 minutes of your day.”

Just like trying to stay connected to the breathing in and breathing out of a living financial market by reading a newspaper once a day, being in touch with the rhythms of grace and the intentions of the Father for our every step can’t happen with a daily short check-in or quiet time.

Regular, ongoing, conversational intimacy with the Father should result in an unmistakable life.  Like an instrument in the hands of a great musician, the proclamation of our Father’s heart expressed through our lives, should be heard and experienced by everyone within earshot. 

  • How are you experiencing the Father?
  • Do you have a regular rhythm of checking in every morning, every night, or under some discipline?
  • How do you feel like your life might change if you lived more of a breathing in, breathing out rhythm, rather than a daily check-in?