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Rhythm of Life.

Over the past few weeks we had a house full of family, kids were off school, we had extra worship services with Christmas Eve, and less of our “normal” schedule.

One of those days I got up early to spend some quiet time praying, reading, working, and writing.

As soon as I got up, this miracle of a dog named Brittany followed me.

She followed me as I snuck out of the bedroom.

She followed me as I prepared coffee.

She rang the bell and wanted to go out.

She then barked because she wanted back in.

She kept wandering to our bedroom door trying to get in to lay down with Sarah.

She figured out how to open the door, hopped up on the bed and started to wake Sarah up.  I ran in, tried to pull Brittany out, and now I am on dog watch the rest of the morning.

She kept ringing the bell to go outside.

She then kept barking to get back inside.

She then kept trying to get back into our room.

This was on repeat for quite awhile.


“Get a dog” they say…

Nobody told me that “my time” would no longer exist.

It’s like having a toddler…who can run, yell, and has figured out how to open doors.

When we first got our dog, Brittany, the trainer we hired to solve our dog problems told us,

“Good news, she is so smart.  

Bad news, she is so smart.  

She is going to find your weaknesses and exploit them.”  

I’m raising a velociraptor.

That morning, when I was trying to get back in my normal rhythm, get things accomplished, feel like I was seizing the day…I did almost none of that…because I was managing our raptor-dog.

Dogs, kids, roommates, spouses, grandkids, or whomever else you find in your house will likely disrupt your rhythm.  This may seem bad at first, but a break from your normal life is good.  We all need regular breaks from our normal rhythms.

The last two weeks of December our rhythm as a family was totally off.   It honestly was a well needed break from the monotony of early mornings, rush out the door, meetings, emails, pick up kids, homework, dinner, bed and repeat.

During the holiday, we didn’t travel, so we had slow leisurely mornings, long walks, late meals, late nights and repeat.

Those break from normal rhythms are so good.  It helps us to catch up on things that we’ve been missing.  It helps us realize things that we need on a regular basis…not just on holiday.

Good sleep should not be reserved for a few times a year.

Meals with family should not just be an occasional thing.

Playing games with loved ones should not be saved just for holidays.

Breaks also cause us to realize how rhythms and disciplines are good.  Regular practices that order our day are not bad, in fact they are great.  They allow us to make the most of the moments we have.  They allow us to be intentional.  And if we order our days with an intentional pace, with room to breathe, with time to be interrupted, we are more present, more peaceful, more like Jesus.

I remember about a decade ago, I planned every meeting to happen immediately following another meeting.  I was working with college students at the time and my office was on one side of the campus and my church was on the other side of the campus.  I was regularly running across campus to inevitably still be late to every meeting I went to.

This led me to being unintentionally in great shape.  But my planning was poor, the way I treated others and their time was dismissive, and I was constantly tardy and tired.

Is there another way?

Look over the stories of Jesus.  He regularly welcomes interruptions and capitalizes on those moments.  He doesn’t get frustrated and dismiss those that weren’t scheduled on his calendar.  He’s not running across town always showing up late.  He is interrupted constantly and those interruptions, those stories that would drive us insane are often the most powerful ones throughout the scriptures.

Are we intentional about having space, about making room to be interrupted, about having an intentional slow rhythm that helps us be more like Jesus?  


But I would be willing to guess left to our own devices most of us either waste away the day or we cram it so full with little to no room for flexibility.

Then we often go to bed wondering where our day went or we are frustrated when anything interrupts us or messes up our schedule.

I want to be the kind of person that has a rhythm like Jesus.

A slow intentional meaningful pace where I rise early to spend time in scripture and prayer.

Where I build time to go on long walks and eat meals with my family.

A rhythm of being present with others who I lead, who I care for, and doing my best to prepare for those moments.

While also not cramming my schedule so full that I can’t be interrupted.

Life happens fast…you don’t have to as well.

Every change of season, every new interruption, every holiday or time you host family or sleep on the pull out couch is an opportunity to reassess what matters in your rhythm of life.

What have I put in place to make sure I am becoming more like Jesus?

What habits do I need to leave behind?

We are creatures of habits…even those that say they hate monotony…their habit is rejecting regularity.

In this new year, as you recenter, refocus, dial in, who are you becoming?

Are you becoming a stressed out calendar filled person who can’t handle interruptions?  Or are you becoming an intentional person, who builds space in your day to be present, to be interrupted, to enjoy the beauty of this life we’ve been given?


I’m not sure having Brittany is making me any more like Jesus…but she does remind me that I am not the center of the universe.

My time is not my own.

And I need to lay down my life and my priorities.


This is how we know what love is.

Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.

Therefore, we ought to lay down our lives for one another.


Build space so that you can lay down your life for one another.

Jesus did it…and that is how we know what love is.

This Sunday I hope you will join us as we celebrate love that came down for you and me.  We will have our normal worship at 10am in the Chapel, but because it is the first Sunday of the month, we will also share in communion at 9am.  Join us if you can.  It’s just a brief 15 minutes where I share a few words and we share in the sacrament of bread and cup.

We also will have some coffee between the two services out in the grove area for you to enjoy and visit with others.

Community is made when people go out of their way, out of their comfort zone, and befriend someone else.

Join us as we not only remember Jesus going out of his way to befriend us, but also as we do the same for one another.

See you Sunday.