In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1)
Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. (Genesis 1:2)
God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day. (Genesis 1:31)
(So in this story, for 6 days God is busting his butt with work, he creates the heavens and the earth, the sun, the moon, the stars, the animals, birds, fish, and finally mankind.)
Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. (Genesis 2:1)
By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. (Genesis 2:2)
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. (Genesis 2:3)
We're in a series called 'Maxed Out' Finding God in a Chaotic World. And this week specifically we're talking about Finding Your Rhythm
One specific limitation that we all have is the limit of time.
Time is the one thing we can’t make more of. Can’t buy it / steal it / trade it. - No one is selling time on craigslist. There’s 60 minutes in an hour, 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week, 52 weeks in a year. And you’re not likely to get more than let’s say 100 of those, unless maybe you're the descendant of Methuselah or something.
We all have this complex relationship with time.
So if you were to ask someone this week for they’re doing, likely the response you’ll get is this: Things are going really good, I’m just really BUSY. Or maybe: They’re not going good and I don’t have time to talk about it!!!
40 Hours a week is a thing of the past.
Devices that make us more ‘productive’ like our phones, when in a way make us more productive, they also make it possible for us to carry our work with us wherever we go.
For me personally, if I allow it, it would be rare to go a full hour of being awake without someone texting me or me texting them something about the church.
The office used to be something you had to go to, now it’s something you carry with you every moment of every day.
What’s funny: if you read any of the writings of social theorists from the 1960’s, they were all assuming that by this point in time, we’d all be working part time and living the majority of our life in leisure. Meanwhile here we are, working like crazy, never resting, no idea how to really relax and detach.
We fill our life at one speed: 100. Our job, and email, and friends, and productivity, and church, and sports, and TV, and music, and family.
We speed up our lives to this crazy pace and we don’t even realize how unhealthy it is. It’s a busyness that goes past our schedule and bleeds into our identity.
The vast majority of us wish we had more time to do the things we think are important.
But if we were to magically get more time, - God were to come and poof! Now there’s 25 hours in a day.
MOST of us, would still not spend that extra hour doing those important things.
B/C the reality - our busy lives just have a way of filling however much time we give it.
If you think of a plant, that’s just going to fill up whatever size pot you put it in.
Picture the last time you had an unexpected day off. Well I’d say the chances are pretty low that you spent 8 glorious hours with God. No, I bet you did pretty normal, every day stuff. And for many of us, life feels like chaos.
What is Rhythm?
Essentially : Rhythm is a predictable pattern.
Think about hip-hop. Or R&B. Things I know literally nothing about. But I asked my friend, and part of what makes R&B R&B is the rhythm. This predictable pattern, that you can bob your head to.
In our particular case, you could say it like this: Rhythm is an invitation to let Jesus set the tempo and content of your life.
It's inviting God to come and say 'You know what? You're moving too fast. You need to slow down and be present for your own life. Or maybe: "You know what? You're filling your life with too much TV and it's time for you to make your family a priority." Or maybe "You know what, you work too much and that tempo is not sustainable, you need to make some time for yourself."
And just like music, life isn't supposed to all be one note or one tempo.
There's times for me where I'm working hard and fast. And there's time when I slow down and rest and enjoy my family. And you can actually see this Rhythm in God himself…
See - Rhythm - God himself…
And God works for 6 days, and here’s the crazy part: and then, he rested. God did. - Let that sink in. This doesn't mean that God was tired. In fact this Hebrew word is Shabbat. Which is where we get the word Sabbath. It means to rest, or cease, or be done.
It's the idea of after a long days work, you come home sit in your favorite chair, crack open a nice cold beer, and look at what you've accomplished. In fact, sabot CAN be translated: Celebrate.
God works - 6 days And then rests for one. And didn't doing that he sets the example for mankind but we are to work hard and then on the 7th day, we rest. Just like God.
God blesses 3 things: Animals, human beings, and the sabbath.
And with animals and humans the blessing is this: The ability to pro-create.
The blessing : The ability to produce life
And then 3rd, God blessed (same word) the Sabbath.
So we could say it like this: “Rest has the ability to produce more life.”
Lazy people I had one major concern coming into this week, and that's this: I didn't want to encourage people to be lazy. Just the opposite. In fact, I'm saying that you probably need to work hard 6 days a week. Just not 7.
So it’s not a COMMAND, but if you want to live an emotionally healthy life, you’ll do this.
Sleep. It’s like sleep. There’s no command that you have to sleep at least maybe 7 hours a night, I know it’s a little different for different people. But there’s no COMMAND to get enough sleep, I just feel bad for your spouse if you don’t. Or your roommates, or your girlfriend, or whatever.
Coffee. There’s no COMMAND no not drink 7 cups of coffee a day. It’s stupid, but it’s not a sin. But if you want to be healthy, you’ll limit it to no more than let’s say 2 or 3. Whatever that number is for you. When you’re so jittery that you can’t get the cup up to your lip, stop!
So we don’t live in rhythm because it's a command. We live in rhythm because it’s a beautiful gift from the creator to his creation.
(JORDAN) Invite Jordan to come up and share with us.
Andy Stanley wrote a book called ‘The Best Question Ever’ So let’s say I asked you about doing something this Saturday. Well what you would probably do is look at your calendar, and ask this question: “Am I free?”
Which is an ok question so ask, but it’s not the BEST question. Here’s Andy’s best question ever: Is it wise? In fact, you can expand this question to this: In light of (Blank) is it wise?
Not: Is it wrong? Not: CAN we do it? But: “Is it wise?”
A lot of us don’t even know what that is. You go on vacation and it’s so packed with activities that you need a vacation from your vacation.
Simple statement: “We must learn to say no to many good things so that we can say yes to the best things.
Just b/c you CAN do something, doesn’t mean you SHOULD do something.
Awhile back I found myself asking myself “How can say no that?! That’s a great opportunity!" So I would go home to Jordan and ask ‘How can I say no to that?!”
Well here’s how you say no: “No."
Whoa. How’s that again? “No.”
“No.” is a completely sentence.
You might think that’s not very fancy. Well then try this: “No” (with hand wave). Or how about this one, I do this all the time: “I love you, but no.”
I know that saying no isn’t normal, but normal isn’t working.
What’s normal in marriage? Divorce.
What’s normal in kids? Rebellion.
What’s normal relationally? Emptiness.
What’s normal in scheduling? Being overwhelmed. Being overworked. Being stressed.
You make the choice about how you’re going to live your life. You’re not a victim of anyone else priorities. B/C you can always say no.
So that's our challenge for you this week. To find your rhythm. Even when you work, and strive, and sweat, you’re still grounded in this rhythm of what God has called you to do.
And that’s what I want for me, it’s what I want for my wife, it’s what I want for my children when the time comes. I don’t want us to be just classic, crazy busy Americans, who don’t know how rest. That’s not who I want to be. That’s not the kind of family I want to help lead. And it’s something that I want for you, as my friends.