Sunday, September 22, 2013

Rhythm vs. Schedule

Time.  We spend it; we want more of it; we rush through it; we try to make it last. 

We meet and walk or text and talk and so many tell me about how little they have and how stressed out they are trying to just live life at THIS PACE. 

Something Charlotte Mason said is that the pendulum swings each second no matter how we occupy that given tick of time. 

“Here, again, is an illustration of that fable of the anxious pendulum, overwhelmed with the thought of the number of ticks it must tick. But the ticks are to be delivered tick by tick, and there will always be a second of time to tick in." 

That same second ticks -- anxious or not -- preoccupied or relaxed.   Imagine Jesus.  He lived 33 short years and He never seemed in a hurry nor did He get harried.  He was measured.  He took time alone with God.  He spent time with friends.  He had important work to do and demands at every turn.  He had enemies and opposition.  What made the difference for Jesus? 

I was walking with a woman I mentor Saturday morning and we were discussing time and the difference between a schedule and a rhythm. We know there must be commitments, but how do we meet those without being in a rush? When we sift through our heart we see reasons we over-commit.  Sometimes how we go about living is what causes our distress.  It isn't having much to do but HOW we go about our "to do" list that can create life-suffocation.  

I find that when I seek Communioin (intimacy with Jesus) in each thing, I take a different approach altogether:

Abiding rather than doing,

Being present rather than staying busy.

Rhythm is a way of going about life from A to B to C while being mindful of God in each moment.  Schedule is about lining up tasks and appointments and checking them off as I go through my day.  Rhythm allows for my needs to be met and the needs of those whom God has sent my way.  Schedule is less concerned with needs than events and performance.  Why do I sometimes get caught in schedule and fail to trust rhythms?  

Fears and habits can propel us to live frenetically.  What is driving me to live as I do?  Am I trusting God to provide both the calling and the means to fulfill it?  Am I seeking Him to help me order my time and my choices?  

When I live for Him and in Him and with Him, I can sort out my "yes" and "no" answers.  I can see what is essential and what is peripheral.  Heavy burdens are made light when I turn to Him with my schedule and ask Him to help me find rhythm.  I can have a full life without feeling stuffed and strangled.  

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