The Rhythms of the Lord

No matter how fulfilling our labor, God designed us for more than work.

Believers should attend to the God-given rhythm of life since it both corrects laziness and offers relief to those who feel pressure to be industrious at all times. He teaches us to work, then pause to sleep, eat, pray, and rest each week. In the beginning, there was work, then rest, for God created, then paused to review what he had done (Gen. 1:1-2:3) Since God created us in his image, that’s our pattern, too. 


My Problem

I’m not sure why I have such a hard time resting and heeding the fourth commandment. Maybe I’m still trying to silence my grade school teachers, who constantly berated me for laziness (Actually, I was lazy). Or maybe I just follow the American way.

Last summer, I decided I needed a mentor if I hoped to change and selected Estelle, my four-year-old grand-daughter as my guide. On Fridays, Estelle arrives at my house at 7 a.m., accompanied by her mother and little brother. After a few minutes, we sit down for breakfast. Afterward, I turn off my phone, hoping to silence the ticking in my mind, and we head for a nearby park featuring cascading streams, bridges, interactive sculptures, boulders that are perfect for little climbers, and a lake stocked with hungry fish. After we arrive, we hop down a flight of steps that take us to a gurgling, insect-laden stream. Soon, we reach a sculpture of a girl running and she sprints ahead, heels flying. After we feed the fish, we head for a course of rocks, which she climbs because their crevices shelter flowers, bees, and dragonflies. On higher rocks, she reaches for my hand, but she holds on after the danger has passed. We may name flowers or launch a tiny raft on the water, but by 9:00, I began itching to get to work, because decades of devotion to goals and efficiency have shaped me.


Estelle is teaching me that relationships need timelessness, not efficiency. That makes me wonder about time in the New Creation. Will it cease? Become a quiet friend, a term that merely labels sequences – this happened, then that. Whatever else happens to time, it will surely cease to be a foe that marches us toward decrepitude and death and presses us to accomplish more.

Read More