As the holiday season fast approaches, for the first time in many years my mind shifts towards embracing rhythms of rest. While friends and colleagues shift into high gear and overwhelm, my heart leans into a more mindful, slower pace.
What if rhythms of rest offered the answer to the deepest longings of our hearts and families during the busiest season of the year?
Instead of more doing, buying, and overcommitting, what if we shifted priorities this holiday season to the things which nurture our souls and relationships?
Welcome to Mindfulness Monday! Where we learn some easy ways to be more present “in the moment” at our jobs, in our homes, with our families and friends.
Learning to recognize God and what He has for us in each divine moment He offers. We acknowledge the belief that God is with us always.
We confess His presence is available to us, lifting our spirit and helping us with power and grace. Learning the art of “stillness” so we can hear His voice and view ourselves, others and our surroundings through His eyes.
Rhythms of Rush
Sitting quietly with my calendar open on my laptop, I wondered why as soon as November loomed on the calendar, I felt an uneasy feeling deep down.
My mind began composing a To-Do list for the next several weeks which left me too weary to even attempt transferring it to paper. Stamped out before it had any chance of flourishing, the childish glimmer of holiday excitement lay as the first casualty of typical rhythms of rush.
“But you will not leave in haste or go in flight; for the Lord will go before you, the God of Israel will be your rear guard.”
Leaping off the page, the words of the prophet Isaiah in chapter 52 stood between me and my calendar like the Angel of the Lord stood between Balaam and the wrong road. (Numbers 22:21-39)
Thankfully no donkey stood nearby to utter a necessary rebuke.
But standing on the precipice of submerging headlong into rhythms of rush, God invited me into embracing the rhythms of rest instead.
The Holidays and All that Jazz
The holidays will always peddle rhythms of rush despite claims of celebrating the calm and bright. But we get to choose which rhythm to which we prefer dancing.
Taking a cue from one of the most creative forms of music, why not simply embrace rhythms of rest by creating a new song over the old?
Jazz music originated by the use of contrafacts; original songs created by writing new melodies over the existing one, creating the classic form of musical improvisation of rhythm changes while keeping both rhythms intact.
Rather than battling holiday chaos, what if we employ the novel approach of jazz, and superimpose a new melody of rest on top of the soul draining rush chords?
Embracing Mindful Rhythm Changes
Holiday chaos exists whether we welcome it or not. The problem occurs when we allow our rhythms to merge with and be carried off by it. As if we had no other choice.
But we can choose stillness, solitude, and rest this holiday season, writing our rhythm over the typical holiday rush rhythms.
Consider these steps to embracing the rhythms of rest this holiday season.
- Seek Christ. Jesus says, “Follow Me”, inviting you to adopt His lifestyle. Copying His way of doing life connected with the Father, not escaping the rush, but side by side with Him, He bears the burdens in exchange for offering us rest within the rush. (Matthew 11:28-30)
- Seek Stillness. Instead of pushing to get more done, seek times of stillness. Savor the sights and sounds of the season, by pausing, resting, and cultivating wonder. Cultivate an Advent attitude, and marvel in the Presence of God. Notice how stillness nurtures your soul. (Isaiah 40:31)
- Seek Silence. Choose intentional times of quiet. Learn to listen for God’s still, small voice in the quiet moments. As you sit quietly, ask Him what He has for you in those moments. Notice how your breathing changes as you rest quietly. (Isaiah 30:15)
- Seek Sabbath. Sabbath rest is not just for one day per week. Taking an hour, a morning, afternoon, or even a lunchbreak for intentional rest makes the difference between overwhelm and restoration. (Mark 6:31)
“Children of God don’t work for rest; they work from rest. Without rest, you will continue to transfer your pain from one form of destructive energy to the next. Purposefully look for restful moments to mindfully connect yourself back to God, the source of all life!”
Embracing Rhythms of Rest
As our minds turn to holiday planning, may we gratefully welcome the gift of rest God offers, through welcoming Jesus into the rhythms of rush. And, in so doing, may we find walking side by side with Jesus writes the rhythms of rest over the old song of weariness.
Intentionally choosing to follow Christ within the rush, seeking moments of sheer stillness even in the midst of noisy minds and schedules, cultivating quiet moments of refreshing through purposeful sabbaths all bind us within the rest-filled embrace of a loving God.
Which rhythm will you choose this holiday season?
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