There is an old saying: “If the devil can’t make you bad, he will make you busy.”
Most people I talk to do feel busy. The Bible calls us not to be lazy (Prov 10:4; Luke 9:62), but also to have a rhythm of rest (Exod 20:8-11; Matt 11:28). We are followers of Jesus – but too often we are running ahead of Jesus and asking Him to catch up. We are not living at the pace of Christ, and then wonder why we aren’t experiencing the power of His presence.
What would it look like to live life at His pace?
The Benedictine monks have a saying, “Ora et Labora” – “Pray and Work”. This is a simply summary of the rhythm of a God-centered life. For the Benedictine “Hours”, there is prayer every 3 hours: Matins (midnight), Lauds (3am), Prime (6am), Terce (9am), Sext (noon), None (3pm), Vespers (6pm), Compline (9pm). Some of these prayer times are together, some were alone. They read and recite the entire book of Psalms every week. In between the prayer and worship times, they eat together, have study and contemplation times, and they work. Work is an important part of the Benedictine order.
I don’t know if we all need to wake up at 3am to pray (though if you can’t sleep this is a good practice), but I do know that there is a wisdom in this rhythm.
I know that Jesus woke up early to pray, and prayed constantly. I know that Jesus welcomed interruptions, and I do not. I know Jesus lived as if there was enough time, and I live like time is scarce.
Pray and Work. Can we live the rhythm of the Redeemer?
As we come into November – many of us get busy! Some of this busyness can’t be avoided; some is self-inflicted.
Every November, when the busy season comes, there are people who start to question their ministry commitments. Ministry can be hard work! It takes time to make a difference with Jesus. And when life gets busy, it is tempting to throw in the towel for ministry. Remember “ora et labora”; remember the rhythms of rest and play and work and significance – the rhythms of Christ our Redeemer. Busyness is the easiest way to pull you away from a life of significance and Kingdom impact.
Christ invites us into a good life filled with His rest and work. Stay encouraged and keep following Him – at His pace.