“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.”
Since writing last about finding myself needing a season of rest after a series of major life transitions, a phrase from Matthew 11 has echoed in my head: “learn the unforced rhythms of grace.”
I find these days that a combination of my temperament, season of life and family responsibilities, etc., lead me far from such rhythms. I am much more comfortable with and accustomed to making lists, hustling, trying harder, adding things on.
And yet the Lord persists with His invitation to walk with Him, learn from Him how to rest and how to work.
This invitation has always been there in Scripture, and yet He has mercifully personalized and amplified it for me recently. It seems to be EVERYWHERE I look. Books I encounter both on my shelf and on the virtual shelves of the online world (Present Over Perfect: Leaving Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living, by Shauna Niequist; Rhythms of Rest: Finding the Spirit of Sabbath in a Busy World, by Shelly Miller; Choosing Rest: Cultivating a Sunday Heart in a Monday World, by Sally Breedlove; Sabbath: The Ancient Practices, by Dan Allender, just to name a few!). Blogposts (Lopsided Living by Terilynne Underwood, 7 Days of Still Moments from Emily P. Freeman, among others.) Just beginning to list God’s invitation echoed from so many corners gives me chills.
As I slow my roll, I am finding there are so many gifts waiting. When I’m not plowing through my to-do list or fretting about how I don’t have the energy to plow through, I’m finding so many creative provisions from the Lord. Things like… someone on my “to call” list reaches out to connect with me first, or just as I’m about to rush to the post office to overnight forms for physician signatures, copies of the very forms I need arrive in the mail. I have a lot of learning to do with Jesus, learning these unforced rhythms of grace.
But there is time and He is my patient Shepherd.
Insight and inspiration:
May we not be like the hard-hearted Israelites to whom the prophet Isaiah spoke these words:
“This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: ‘In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.’” (Isaiah 30:15)
And savor these familiar words from King David. May we be led.
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he refreshes my soul.
Invitation: Do you hear Jesus’ invitation to come, get away, learn the unforced rhythms of grace? What would that look like in your life? How will you respond?