I felt my soul exhale when I read this.
I imagine you might be similar to me and have a mixed relationship with the idea and implementation of rhythms. I am very taken with the ideas, but my execution has not been consistent or done “well” (in my opinion), so the subject is also sprinkled with shame. This subtitle, however, is in invitation to life.
And that’s God’s heart for us. He wants life and communion, not shame and hiding.
The image Scazzero used of the rope in the blizzard of life was powerful. “Blizzards begin when we say yes to too many things . . . our lives fall somewhere between full and overflowing.” What did you think of his take of the inadequacy of our ropes? How have you needed to adjust the rope you used in your home country to your host country? Some of us have been on the field many years, how has your rope changed over the years? How does your stage of life factor in now?
While many of us might not be addicted to drugs and alcohol, as he said, too many of us are addicted “to tasks, to work, to doing. Any sense of rhythm in our daily, weekly, and yearly lives has been swallowed up in the blizzard of our lives.” This one hits close to home for those of us in ministry. What’s the culture like on your team when it comes to busyness? In your family of origin? Or in your organization. Are you encouraged to live with rhythms?
Do you practice the Daily Office? Have you experimented with it? I appreciated that Scazzero said to do what works for you and if daily office doesn’t work, don’t do it! He even used two exclamation points—which doesn’t normally get by most editors—showing the freedom he is extending to us. It was helpful to see what he’s talking about when he refers to the Daily Office:
This was one of my favorite quotes about the Daily Office: “The root of the Daily Office is not so much a turning to God to get something but to be with Someone.”
I know we’ve talked about Sabbath before and that we will talk about it again. This certainly isn’t once and done (just consider how often it is mentioned in scripture!). I’m guessing that many of us aren’t able to have a Sabbath on Sunday, as it can be a fairly busy ministry day. And if you live in a small space with little kids it can be challenging. Danielle has shared before how she and her husband split a day with one of them watching the kids in the morning and the other in the afternoon; thus allowing both of them to have uninterrupted time.
Eugene Peterson’s calling a “day off” what produces positive results a “bastard Sabbath” made me smile, but it made his point. Sabbath isn’t about getting things done it’s about:
- Stopping—this is one of the most powerful parts for me because Sabbath is a discipline that reminds me there will always be work. Sabbath isn’t about the work we need to do, it is about our relationship with God.
- Rest —out of the nine possibilities you could rest from, which caught your eye and you’d like to experiment with?
- Delight—I agree with him there a problem of our age is “delight deficient.” I think many miss this piece of Sabbath. What do you think?
- Contemplate—“Every Sabbath, we experience a sampling of something greater that awaits us.”
When I read about longer sabbaticals, I’m wondered what you thought about sabbaticals in our line of work. Often home assignments or furloughs are anything but a sabbatical. What has your experience with Sabbaticals been? What have you tried? What worked? What was a good idea, but not really helpful?
So much to talk about :)! See you in the comments . . .
P.S. Next week we end with chapters 9 and 10 in Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Peter Scazzero. In December we will read a short story a week and I’ll provide you with the links next week. Short is good in December, yes? Yes!
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