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Stop the Horrible Music!

I knew this would happen.

If confession is good for the soul, then here you go.  It’s only been six weeks since I’ve been back from my sabbatical, and I’m already slipping back into my old pattern and pace. Hopefully, as you take time to read this, you will be encouraged to join me in renewing a commitment to a healthy life rhythm.

Noah benShea once wrote, “It’s the space between the notes that makes the music” (Jacob the Baker: Wisdom for the Heart’s Ascent).  Some of us are living a cacophony of horrible music because we aren’t creating any space between the notes.

Jesus regularly lived life in the space between the notes.  He often withdrew from the rush of the urgent to focus on the value of the important.  He taught His disciples to embrace a healthy life rhythm: “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest for a while” (Mark 6:31).

Sandy, my assistant, typed up an acronym from the word “BREATH” and put it on my desk before I returned from my sabbatical.  I see it every day, and I need to live it. 

B—believe in yourself and how God has gifted you.
R—remember the things you love about your role.
E—exhale, inhale and exhale again.
A—add some new parameters to your work (invent and reinvent).
T—temperance.  Avoid the things you used to do but want to stop.
H—have fun.  Create a healthy balance between work and play.

Pretty good advice.  Now I just need to live it.

The Jews have a Sabbath tradition called the Havdalah that reflects the value of a healthy life rhythm.  The Havdalahtakes place at the end of Sabbath when a husband or wife spills some of the Sabbath wine into a saucer and extinguishes a candle by dipping it into the wine.  The spilled wine symbolizes the Sabbath’s impact to spill over into the rest of the week.

When you live a healthy life rhythm, the benefits spill over into every area of your life.  When you create space between the notes, you discover that the noise of your life actually turns into music (Lance Witt, Replenish).

As I challenge myself through the words I’ve written, I challenge you as you read them.  We CAN do something about this.  Good intentions must become good decisions, and good decisions must lead to action.  Why not take some time right now to think about what needs to change in your life in order to create some space between the notes?

Posted by Rick Grover, Lead Pastor with

Finding Purpose in the Mundane

I was complaining to a couple of our staff the other day.  I know, I know.  I should rise above.  Be a better leader.  Be positive.  I try to follow the advice of Zig Ziglar when he wrote, “Be grateful for what you have and stop complaining - it bores everybody else, does you no good, and doesn't solve any problems.” 

Try though I do, sometimes I’m not the best example of living with an attitude of gratitude.  I look at my robust calendar and a sense of drudgery comes over me.  Day after day, week after week, meeting after meeting.  See?  I’m doing it again . . . complaining. 

Ever been there?  Sure you have.

This past June, June 15 to be exact, I read Oswald Chambers’ entry in My Utmost for His Highest.  And what title did he give for his short, daily devotion?  “In the Matter of Drudgery.”  I think he wrote that for me. 

Chambers articulated one of the capstone challenges of my life—finding purpose in the mundane.  Here are a few of his reflections:

  • Drudgery is the touchstone of character.
  • The great hindrance in spiritual life is that we will look for big things to do.
  • Jesus wrapped a towel around his waist and began to wash his disciples’ feet.
  • There are times when there is no illumination and no thrill, but just the daily round, the common task.
  • Routine is God’s way of saving us between our times of inspiration.
  • Do not expect God always to give you His thrilling minutes but learn to live in the domain of drudgery by the power of God.

I love that—“the domain of drudgery.”  You and I may spend many hours in that domain, but it is there we forge our character by the grace and power of God.  So, the next time I start to complain about drudgery, I need to stop and give thanks that God is giving me so many opportunities to become more like Jesus.

“For this very reason, you must do your utmost from your side and see that your faith carries with it real goodness of life. Your goodness must be accompanied by knowledge, your knowledge by self-control, your self-control by the ability to endure. Your endurance too must always be accompanied by devotion to God; that, in turn, must have in it the quality of brotherliness, and your brotherliness must lead on to Christian love. If you have these qualities existing and growing in you then it means that knowing our Lord Jesus Christ has not made your lives either complacent or unproductive. The man whose life fails to exhibit these qualities is short-sighted—he can no longer see the reason why he was cleansed from his former sins” (2 Peter 1:5-9, Phillips).

Posted by Rick Grover, Lead Pastor with

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