One of the things I am relearning through this whole COVID-19 quarantine period is the value of rhythms. A little self-disclosure here: when it comes to music, I have no rhythm. I am the guy who’s clapping is always a little off beat. However, when it comes to life, I need rhythm, and I don’t think I am alone.
In the beginning, God created the universe. In doing so, He established a rhythm and pattern to nature, “there was evening and there was morning.” So it has been ever sense, day and night govern our rhythms of waking and sleeping, of working and resting. Not only that, but God also set up annual and seasonal rhythms in creation that govern sowing and reaping, planting and harvest.
And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. And God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.Genesis 1:14-19 English Stand Version (emphasis mine)
Then, to top it off, God established a weekly rhythm for all peoples modeled on God’s actions in creation. Six days we are to work and one day we are to rest. This day of rest is called the Sabbath and it is as needed today as it ever was (but that’s for another post).
The point here is that we need rhythm in our lives: daily, weekly, monthly, and annual rhythms. Here are some of the benefits of having a rhythm I have noticed.
- Rhythm reduces stress. One of the benefits of developing a healthy rhythm is that it takes away some of the decisions we need to make on a daily basis. Our brains, like our bodies, have a finite amount of energy available. Developing a rhythm to life frees up energy for other decisions.
- Rhythm increases focus. The world is full of distractions, right? Social media, emails, phone calls, etc. Everything is screaming for our attention. Some call this the tyranny of the urgent. Developing a healthy rhythm helps us to put these distractions in their proper place and time, helping us to focus on the more important tasks.
- Rhythm helps us live intentionally. Nature abhors a vacuum, when there is a gap, something will rush in to fill that gap. If we are not intentional with our time, we will be at the mercy of the tyranny of the urgent or the tyranny of the distracting. Meanwhile, we will easily put off that which we need to do: spend time with God, spend time with family, rest and recharge in healthy ways. Developing a rhythm to our life is like budgeting our money. We make sure we have enough for what’s most important to us.
Quarantine and lockdown has probably disrupted your rhythms like it has mine. However, that could be a good thing. Maybe now is the time to implement new rhythms that are healthier for you physically and spiritually.
What is one new rhythm you will add to your life during this time?