I live by rhythms.
Rhythms of each day: waking up, morning routines, work, errands, resting.
Rhythms of each week: highs and lows, events and downtime, family time and alone time.
Rhythms of seasons: shifting from the anticipation of fall to the busyness of winter to the welcomed spring and finally to summer, full of life.
We all live by rhythms. And when those rhythms get interrupted, we don't fully know what to do with ourselves.
When I find myself interrupted I struggle to come back to my rhythm. I flail and panic and become easily overwhelmed, to the point that I can't simply return here, to the place that is good. The place that feels safe. The place where I'm most grounded and most at peace.
Because something moved me out of my rhythm. Something interrupted my routine. It's usually something simple: a distraction, a new task or job, travelling. But after that initial break in my schedule, everything falls out of place and putting it back becomes a daunting challenge.
And admitting that, admitting that sometimes I just don't manage my time well or maintain my schedule properly, feels like a failure. It sounds like a flaw in my character that prevented me from keeping it all together, on my own. And instead of admitting that sometimes my humanness gets the best of me and I don't function like a robot, I keep on pretending that everything is functioning as it should. That this pace of busyness, that this lack of routine, is perfectly normal and sustainable. Even when it's not.
(I don't think I'm alone in this.)
Maybe that's the trap the devil sets for people like me: people who find stability in rhythms, who need to read or write or pray daily to feel grounded. Maybe interrupting that sense of stability is his first attempt to remove us from the father's arms. Because once we find ourselves interrupted, we start to believe the lie that it's too hard to go back.
The more removed I become from church and religion and faith, the harder and harder it becomes to open a bible or schedule church into my week. It's not a matter of not wanting to go. It's not even an issue of disliking or disagreeing with it. It's having to first admit that somewhere along the way it was forgotten, that I couldn't balance everything the way I had hoped, that this was the first to go.
I picture the scene like a small dog, going back to it's owner after running away, yet again, even though it had zero mal intent in doing so. Tail between it's legs, slowly running back home. Back to the place that is safe. The place that it never wanted to leave, but got distracted and did anyways.
And theologically, I know God isn't mad at me. I know He isn't disappointed. I know that His love overcomes any anger He might harbour against me - anger that doesn't exist anymore because Jesus went to the cross. But I also wonder if He gets frustrated with this cycle: coming home and feeling grounded, establishing a rhythm that keeps me in a good place, and then allowing distractions to interrupt that rhythm and stubbornly refusing to come back. Pridefully insisting that I didn't need all that time with my Creator to begin with.
I thought that reading and praying were things the church wanted us to do to be good Christians. I thought it proved something about our faith and love for the Lord.
Whether the church knows how much I read and pray (or don't) doesn't matter anymore. Whether anyone knows, it's irrelevant.
We don't do it for people. If we do, we'll soon get bored and find something else to do for their approval.
We do the things that connect us to God, whatever that may look like, because once we become disconnected, we realise the difference. When that connection is severed we panic and forget that God offered freedom and peace instead of stress and anxiety. And a sense of desperation sets in, a deep desire to get back to the place that grounds us. That establishes us. A place that feels safe to exist in a world that sometimes feels anything but.