I spent it flat on my back in a hospital thinking I was dying. During my long recovery, I wondered: “Could I have avoided this?” My body was rebelling at the abuses of my fast paced, high stressed lifestyle. My life was out of sync with God’s rhythm and I hadn’t noticed.
Unfortunately, I am not alone. Our world is full of stressed-out, burnt-out church leaders who don’t know when to stop. Our culture ratchets up the pace constantly and we think we need to follow. Many Christian leaders I speak to have little personal space for God. They only pray when working on a sermon.
Exploring Jesus’ Four RhythmsSo what rhythms did Jesus live by? If he truly offers abundant life, then his life rhythms must provide the best model for church leaders to follow. He carried the weight of the world on his shoulders yet rarely seemed overloaded.
Missionary statesman E. Stanley Jones calls Jesus the “revealer of the nature of life.” He believed the way of Christ is written into our blood, nerves, tissues and relationships so life “works in his way and only in his way. If we are not in step with God then we are working our own ruin.”
Jesus modeled four basic life rhythms – sacred rhythms – for us. At the center was his spiritual life, rooted in an intimate, personal relationship to God, and providing the focus for all else he did. Jesus’ prayer pattern resembled that of Muslims more than that of most Christians. He stopped throughout the day to listen to God and directed his actions according to God’s instructions.He never made major decisions without at least a night listening through prayer.
How much less stress would we suffer if we gave prayer this kind of priority and allowed our times with God to shape our other commitments?