The Unforced Rhythms of Grace

One of my favorite Bible verses is Matthew 11:28-30.  

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”  (NIV)

In The Message translation, this verse is paraphrased as follows:

“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.”  (MSG)

Unforced Rhythms of Grace.  Ponder that phrase for a moment.

That phrase has captured my imagination for years and I have needed to return to this passage many times as the pace of life, striving, doing…has left me feeling tired, needing a true and different kind of rest.  How about you?

If there is one place where I witness the unforced rhythms of grace it is in a mountain stream with a fly rod in my hand.  Let your imagination run for a moment as you think about all the unforced rhythms in fly fishing.  The flex and cast of a rod when the rod is free to throw line gracefully (and not forced).  The flow of a stream.  They relationship of flies and hatches to the stream, sun, and water temperatures.  The shorelines graciously directing the flow of water.  The trees and birds around you (remember Matthew 6:25-34?).  What else do you see in your imagination and experience standing in a stream with your trusted fly rod? Creation is a symphony of unforced movements and rhythms of grace. What about YOUR life?

Altar Fly Fishing hopes to draw forth the unforced rhythms of faith and life through the art and beauty of fly fishing.  Whether in writing or fishing together, I hope you will find what you read and experience with us meaningful and helpful as you align yourself with God’s unforced rhythms of grace in your life.

For Reflection:

  • Read the two translations of Matthew 11:28-30 above.  What words or phrases stand out to you?
  • What is your initial response to these verses?  How does your own heart and soul relate to them?
  • Where does life seem forced right now?
  • What would it mean for you to “go to Jesus” and allow his unforced rhythms into your life—especially in the forced rhythms you are experiencing?

Eric Camfield | June 2019