Psalm One Ministries
Wonderful friends recently offered the best gift anyone can give me: time at the ocean. Nothing renews my soul and facilitates listening to the Lord like the sea. There’s something about the power, beauty, majesty and rhythm of the ocean that resonates the reality of God’s life deep within me.
“Deep calls to deep at the sound of Your waterfalls; all Your breakers and Your waves have rolled over me.” (Psalm 42:7)
I spent unhurried hours in the ocean, riding the waves, watching the seabirds, and praying. And yes, there were close encounters with wondrous creatures. It was life to my bones. I truly am half fish and am happiest up to my neck in the ocean--or even better, face down with snorkel and mask. Yet I live in landlocked Ohio. And trust me, nobody wants to snorkel the Ohio River. I love living in Ohio. I love the people. It’s where God has me for many reasons. How do I bring the lessons of the ocean back to Ohio?
I’m on the road and in the air to nearby and far-flung places fairly often. But I don’t I want to live my life so that I am counting days until the next vacation, the next exotic adventure. I don’t want to be discontent, desperately longing to escape my day-to-day life. What do I need to build into my life, so that I am truly living in the moment instead of waiting for the next escape?
I realize that I am very blessed in that I am able to do what I was called to do, what I was born to do, what I love to do for a living. I know many people work at a job that provides very little satisfaction or joy. But no matter where we find ourselves, God invites us into life-giving rhythms of freedom and connection.
Sabbath: I may sound like a broken record by now, but we need Sabbath. Really. So many of us live in perpetual fatigue and weariness. And we consider this normal. God did not design us to live like this. The endless and ever-changing waves of the ocean remind me to seek godly rhythms in my day-to-day. He designed us to need cycles of work, retreat, and worship. The Sabbath is a time of renewal, rest, reflection, celebration, leisure, fun times with friends and family. Sounds like a mini-vacation, doesn’t it? Well, God invites us to a day-long vacation once a week, and many mini-breaks along the way. If we will only accept and embrace and integrate His Sabbath rhythms into our lives. “Jesus said to them, "The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.” (Mark 2:27)
Play: When I was a child, play was my profession. But as an adult, I need to proactively add a little playtime with some good friends to my schedule. For many of us it doesn’t just happen. If I become a “ministry machine” and work around the clock, I lose the “Goodtime” in Goodtime Linda along the marathon and I start doing my agenda instead of God’s work. I need play to be refreshed and to keep me from taking myself too seriously. This past weekend, I enjoyed playtime with horses, dogs, cats, and good friends. This weekend I am trying my less-than-gifted hand at painting and pottery. Shouldn’t Christians be the first ones to celebrate life? “Then our mouth was filled with laughter and our tongue with joyful shouting; Then they said among the nations, ‘The LORD has done great things for them.’ The LORD has done great things for us; We are glad.” (Psalm 126:2-3)
Friendship: I am saddened by how many people (especially those in vocational ministry) have no genuine friends. So many have endless acquaintances, but no true friends. Friendship costs. It takes time, effort, initiative, forgiveness, loyalty, and work. To have supportive and encouraging friends, one must be supportive and encouraging. People don’t always meet our expectations. But it is so worth it! What a priceless gift we give one another in authentic companionship. “For I have come to have much joy and comfort in your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you, brother.” (Philemon 7)
I do a lot of teaching on keeping my heart alive toward God. Without these rhythms and priorities, we can become hard, cold, callous, legalistic, and lonely. Sabbath, playtime, friendship are not luxuries. In order to stay alive and healthy and vibrant in our walk with God, they are necessities.
Seeking His rhythm,