(PART ONE IN THE SERIES)
Each year Altar introduces a theme for its retreats and guidebooks, intending to hit the relevant and core needs, hopes, challenges, and desires of people–no matter their background or platform. In 2022, we focused on building a resilient life.
This year we will focus on RHYTHM and why this may be one of the most important themes impacting our lives daily and weekly–whether for good and health or for pain and frustration. Add up these days and weeks and you have created the story of your life. Over the next six months, we are building a devotional series that will unpack the power of rhythm in our lives and how our rhythms shape us. As we begin, remember these three important facts:
- You create your rhythms.
- Your rhythms shape and form your life.
- Your life creates ripples of impact upon those with whom you live, work, and connect with in life.
The Most Important Equation of Your Life: R = 6 + 1
Do you know this equation? Do you know how to solve for R?
R = Rhythm. And the equation is one week’s living broken into two parts–6 days and then 1 day. Six days to live one way and one day to live another way, different from the other six. If this sounds familiar, then you may have already thought of the word God has given us to help us thrive in life–Sabbath or Sabbath Rhythm.
Before you roll your eyes or jump to the conclusion that you already know what sabbath rhythm is, I would encourage you to continue reading and stay tuned each month as we unpack another piece of rhythm that, if you choose to accept this mission, may be the one thing that brings health to your soul, home and work. Yes, even your work. This may feel like Mission Impossible, but let me encourage you that sabbath rhythm is Mission POSSIBLE and we (Altar) are committed to helping you understand this rhythm and taking practical actions to live in better rhythms through our devotional teachings and fishing retreats this year.
R (or Rhythm) is meant to bring the fruit of many “R’s” like: Resting. Renewing. Remembering. Restoring. Reforming. Recalibrating. Rejoicing. Relationship(ing). Reverence(ing). And many other vital “R” words.
Are you ready to solve for R?
GENESIS 2:1-3 (The Beginning)
Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.
EXODUS 20:8-11 (Commandment #4 of 10)
Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
- Rhythm was established in the beginning as foundational to our world.
- God worked/labored six days and then stopped, ceased and rested from his work on the last day.
- The seventh day (or +1 day) was declared holy–the first thing made holy in our world.
- The +1 day was filled with intentionality.
- Sabbath rhythm was to be core to God’s people forever and ever. Amen.
So What? Now What?
There is a good chance that your rhythms, like mine, do not exactly line up with the big ideas above. A “day off” or a week’s vacation is not the same as sabbath rhythm. Our constant connection to people and work (thank you modern technology and smartphones–more on this in coming months) have created a new dominant kind of rhythm in the lives of most of us. Contant buying and selling (i.e. Amazon), youth sports that have no sacred spaces or pauses, and a barrage of other activities have become our normal rhythm. I wonder, has anyone noticed the impact?
I can tell you there HAS been an impact and the impact has not ultimately been good for our souls. I wonder, do you feel the rush, frustration, fragmentation, weariness, or simply sense the desire to escape, to rest, to hit pause on everything every now and then? If so, you are not alone.
There is a rhythm that is good and it is possible. There is a rhythm that helps heal and restore our souls. There is a rhythm that can motivate and fuel our weeks. There is a rhythm that brings life, depth, and meaning to our ordinary weeks. There is a rhythm that wants to write a better story in your life and my life. The question is: Do you desire a better rhythm that will honor God, yourself and others while bringing blessings to your life?
Stay tuned to Altar’s monthly Feeding Lanes as we unpack the theme of RHYTHM over these next months. Seriously consider giving yourself the gift of doing some good, hard, honest and personal work through these devotions which may reveal a gift that you desire and need more than you know.
- How would you describe the current rhythms of your week in this season of life?
- Are these rhythms giving you a sense of vitality, health, goodness in your life?
- If you could change one thing in your weekly rhythms that you know would be good for you or for your family, what would it be? Why?
- How do you react (honestly) to the three facts at the beginning of this devotional?
- What do you think about the big ideas of the Bible’s teachings on sabbath?
- What do you agree with in this devotion? What are you resisting or struggling with?
Watch for Rhythm (Part Two) next month and consider forwarding these devotions to one or more friends.
Eric Camfield | February 2023