Reflections Along the Way
From the desk of Steve Macchia
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me–watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matthew 11: 28-30, The Message)
Learning the unforced rhythms of grace requires practice. We’re prone toward fulfilling the prolonged pace of the busy life. We wake up each day and maximize every moment before us…getting ready as fast as possible, eating a quick breakfast before running out the door, jam-packing every possible moment with meetings, work, chores, children, exercise, driving, shopping, eating, emails, phone calls, errands, ministry…just to name a few. Yes, our lives are stretched to the maximum; our days are full from the time we awaken to the time we drop into bed at night. And, although we’re living very full days we often come to the realization that in fact we’re quite unfulfilled because there’s no time to simply be.
20th Century spiritual formation author Evelyn Underhill says it this way, “We mostly spend our lives conjugating three verbs: to want, to have, and to do. Craving, clutching, and fussing, on the material, political, social, emotional, intellectual–even the religious–plane, we are kept in perpetual unrest: forgetting that none of these verbs have any ultimate significance, except so far as they are transcended by and included in, the fundamental verb: to be…and that being, not wanting, not having and not doing, is the essence of a spiritual life.” Sounds to me like she understands the heart of learning the unforced rhythms of grace.
As we conclude Lent 2010, let me urge you to ponder afresh what Christ has done in your behalf to usher you into an ever-deepening fellowship with the Father, the Spirit, and Jesus himself. The sacrificial gift on the cross makes the rhythms of grace a reality for all of us–now and for all eternity. Embrace that gift and walk in spiritual renewal today.