Rhythms & Routines
I want to suggest that Rhythms & Routines are at the topic of our lives, very similar to a food chain. When the Wolves were taken out of Yellowstone National Park, chaos ensued. When they were re-introduced they effected everything. What happens in our Rhythm & Routines tumbles down into the rest of our lives. One thing Jesus wants to teach his followers is the necessity of healthy Rhythms and Routines.
“Everyone ends up somewhere in life, few people end up somewhere on purpose.” – Andy Stanley
You end up somewhere on purpose when your vision is translated into Rhythm and Routines.
The Hebrews had been in slavery for 400 years. Think about the long-term psychological effect on the people of being enslaved for 10 generations. Not one of them had any idea of how to live differently. For 10 generations they lived under the brutal power and ego of Pharaoh. They had to work constantly in order to feed Pharaoh’s hungers.
Then God sent Moses into the story. God used Moses to rescue them and promise to bring these people locked in slavery into the Promised Land. In Exodus 14 the Hebrews cross the Rea Sea and are Free. In Exodus 15 the people Celebrate! In Exodus 16 the very first thing God does for his people following the celebration is God establishes a new rhythm and routine for their lives. You might say Moses introduced the Wolves of Rhythm and Routine into their lives!
Exodus 16: 4-8, 16-20, 27-30
These people had lived under an oppressive master; Power and Ego. Power and Ego are not good master, they distort reality and cause you to develop bad Rhythms and Routines. God needs to change their mentality so he works on their habits and their routines.
Morning and Evening
God provides food; Morning and Evening Routines which was a way to remember everything starts with God and everything ultimately terminates on God. What are your Morning and Evening Routines ? Do they tell you something about what you consider is most important?
Rest was an important part of their New Routine. Once a week they would be reminded that God could be trusted to run the world.
“The Lord neither slumbers nor sleeps” – God never sleeps. But don’t you find it fascinating that before God establishes anything else, God establishes a Routine. He establishes a Rhythm of live which reminds his people that He alone is God and can be trusted. This new Routine doesn’t just re-frame their life, it reshapes their Soul.
If you don’t have that kind of Rhythm and Routine in your life, your life quickly becomes centered around something else. Every life must have a center. When the center is not the Lord your life degrades; sometimes even falling into Chaos.
If you were with Jesus you would have immediately encountered his Rhythm and Routine! Mark 1:21 – Jesus is keeping the Sabbath establish by God in Exodus 16. Mark 1:35 – Jesus had a daily routine. Early in the morning he gathered spiritual food, providing direction for the day ahead. John 4:32 – Jesus tells disciples: “I have food to eat that you know nothing about”. Mark 6:7-13 – What an Assignment! In vs. 30 – apparently they experience great success and they couldn’t wait to tell Jesus about what they had done.
Yet – notice Jesus’ response in vs. 31– “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while”. You get the feeling Jesus knows something like: success can be disillusioning, success can be addictive, success can breed Self-Sufficiency. Please notice that Jesus forces his disciples into the exact same Routine he demonstrated in Mark 1:35-37 – “Everyone is looking for you!”
A couple of years ago I listened to a leadership podcast about a book titled Platform: How to get noticed in a noisy world. I did wonder if we really needed another book on how to get noticed. Anyway, in Mark we see Jesus’ Platform, his rhythms and routines form the base of his ministry and he wants the same for his disciples.
Recent study on work hours show that pushing past 50 hours of work a week and there is backward productivity: 50 hours produces 37 hours of useful work. 55 hours produces 30.
“When we keep pushing forward without taking adequate time for rest and replenishment, our way of life may seem heroic, but there is a frenetic quality to our work that lacks true effectiveness because we have lost the ability to be present to God, to be present to other people and to discern what is really needed in our situation. Charles, a gifted physician, illustrates the point: I discovered in medical school that if I saw a patient when I was tired or overworked, I would order a lot of tests. I was so exhausted, I couldn’t tell exactly what was going on…so I got in the habit of ordering a battery of tests, hoping they would tell me what I was missing. But when I was rested—if I had the opportunity to get some sleep, or go for a quiet walk— when I saw the next patient, I could rely on my intuition and experience to give me a pretty accurate reading of what was happening…When I could take the time to listen and be present with them and their illness, I was almost always right. When we are depleted, we become overly reliant on voices outside of ourselves to tell us what is going on.”
There are always outside voices telling us what’s going on. Jesus wants us to discern the one voice that matters – God. We hear his voice in Rest.
Jesus exercised Yearly Routines
If you were to read Leviticus 23 you would see there are 7 routines, 7 places on the calendar that you stop, rest, and reflect on God. All of these Jesus celebrated. So Jesus had a Daily Rhythm, Weekly Rhythm and Yearly Rhythm.
Jesus didn’t come to earth give you Eternal Life, a life that starts after you die. No, Jesus came to earth to give you Eternal Life and that Life starts now. He wanted to display for his followers what a healthy life looks like right now!
O this is so important for those in Leadership positions; family, business, church, etc. You are the one who is supposed to have Vision; you see a Preferred Future but you are also informing and training those you lead about the best way of life right now as you move toward your vision. I say this because it’s very possible to be so focused on a destination that you don’t really know how to live life right now, so you miss most of your life trying to get somewhere.
Help your people live the curves of their lives
Jesus and Moses are both leading people out of slavery; Sin or Egypt. In order for these people to detach from their old masters (old Idols, Power & Ego) they must learn a new way of life. The new way comes through a new set of Rhythms and Routines.
1. What are your Rhythms and Routines: Daily, Weekly, Yearly. What do they say about what you value most?
2. Why is success a so dangerous to Rhythm and Routine?
3. Are you really able to be present right now, in the curves of life (or) are you usually living for what’s around the curve? What are the people around you learning from you about how to live?
Friends and Brothers,