In Rhythms – Part 1, stepping back to look at how we have “done life” can clarify how God guides us to move forward in our walk with him. In addition, a few other rhythms to consider for spiritual health and growth were mentioned in the previous Rhythms article, recollection and turning to God.
It often seems that everyone is asking something of us, so much so that we live fractured and fragmented lives that we can leave ourselves running on empty when the idea of recollection can be helpful. Recollection involves a re-collecting of ourselves until we are a united whole. It sounds wonderful in theory but takes great intentionality. The idea is to let go of all competing distractions until we are truly at peace with who we are in Christ and in his presence.
It is becoming aware of the fact that God is always with us and always speaking to us. We can sense this in Psalm 130:5-6, “I am counting on the Lord; yes, I am counting on him. I have put my hope in his word. I long for the Lord more than sentries long for the dawn, yes, more than sentries long for the dawn.”
It is important to note that unrest intensifies when we try to settle our souls. This is not like a restless night when we try to sleep and cares or desires assail us. When we try to truly be present, the devil’s greatest weapon is distraction. When frustrations or distractions come, visualize lifting them into the arms of the Father, letting God care for them. Do not suppress inner turmoil. . . let go of it. Continue to let turmoil go every time it returns to your mind. Suppressing implies a pressing down or keeping in check, whereas, in recollection, we collect it to release it or give it away. Do not become disheartened by this, for no effort is ever wasted. Remember, if you achieve no more than understanding how much you lack in inner unity, you will gain something.
Turning to God
Turning to God as a lifestyle means that no matter what happens, you allow yourself to be flexible and influenced by God. Life can throw unimaginable twists and turns that can shake our foundation. If our default response is to turn to God, trials may come and possibly shake us, but never break us.
A turning such as this requires flexibility and a teachable spirit. Too often, we hear the phrase, “we never did it that way,” which shuts the door to any new revelation the Lord may have for us.
When we are inflexible and do not want to let God hammer out of us the pride, bitterness, and deceit that we cling to, we end up angry and nitpicky about how God has shaped our lives. How sad would it be if we were so rigid that we could not see the new thing God wants to happen in us, through us, and around us? “I am going to do something new. It is already happening. Don’t you recognize it? I will clear a way in the desert. I will make rivers on dry land.” Isaiah 43:19 (GW)
- Reflect on the last 24 hours. Where have you felt God speaking to you, embracing and rejecting it? What have you learned?
- What areas of your life have you felt the demands leaving you distracted and scattered? Is there some responsibility you can disseminate, eliminate or tweak to refresh your body and soul?
- Is there any area in life that has become so rigid that you cannot see where God is doing a “new thing”?
A Prayer for the Rhythms of Life
O God, gather me now to be with you as you are with me.
Soothe my tiredness; quiet my fretfulness; curb my aimlessness; relieve my compulsiveness;
Let me be easy for a moment.
O Lord, release me from the fears and guilts which grip me so tightly;
From the expectations and opinions which I so tightly grip,
That I may be open to receiving what you give,
To risking something genuinely new, to learning something refreshingly different.
O God, gather me to be with you as you are with me. Amen.
(Guerrillas of Grace, Ted Loder)