Wednesday, January 05, 2011

The Rhythms of Life

In the past couple of years, Vanessa and I have been very concerned about recognizing that we were designed by God to live according to certain rhythms. We've discovered (Along with a lot of other people. I'm not suggesting that we are pioneers here.) that while technology has provided us with many wonderful advancements, sometimes the unintended consequences of our technology is that we get out of sync with the natural rhythms and routines of life.

  • Lights and TVs and iPads keep us up to all hours of the night.

  • Planes, trains, and automobiles move well-preserved foods from one corner of the globe to another.

  • Credit and even debit cards prevent us from connecting the dots between our labor and its fruit.

  • Microwaves and high speed internet keep us from ever having to wait.

  • And as a result, we have found ourselves tired, crabby, impatient. We've become more and more unhealthy. And we always have this sense of kind of being disconnected.

    So, we have begun trying to reconnect to the rhythms of life. This hasn't been a whole-sale thing, changing everything about our lifestyle all at once. Rather than that, it has been a slow unfolding of new ways to find routine and rest in life, adding additional puzzle pieces as we begin to feel passionately about them.

    Over the past couple of years, we've incorporated these kinds of things into our lives:

  • We are trying to eat as locally as possible, visiting the Farmer's Market, local produce stand, and buying pasture-fed local beef.

  • We also try to eat food when it is in season. Summer is for strawberries and peaches, regardless of what's for sale at Walmart in January.

  • We sabbath. Hard. On Sundays, we don't work. We spend time with friends, take naps, play on the Wii. And we have a Sunday evening routine with the kids - AFV and Extreme Makeover while we eat toast and hot chocolate.

  • We also have assigned the kids daily chores that they are expected to complete. And we pay them an allowance for them, every other week, like I get paid. Payday for me is payday for them. We've used the envelope system to help them spend their money wisely. And they each now have their own savings account.

  • We have become more conscious of the church calendar, caring about seasons like Advent and Lent.

  • With the arrival of the new year, I decided to participate again in the Daily Audio Bible. It's a daily podcast that reads through the Bible. I took a year or so off, but it feels good to make this a part of my morning routine again.

    And, since the kids went back to school, we've added a new routine that we are very excited about. We have begun doing Morning and Evening Prayers as a family, using Shane Claiborne's Common Prayer as our guide.

    Because our kids are early risers (read: Calvin), their job is to bring coffee to Mom and Dad at 6:45. They all pile into our bed and we do the prayer liturgy and readings together. Then, by 7, we are up and at 'em, ready to show the world what we're made of. We do Evening Prayers around the table when we are done with dinner.

    It's only been three days so far. Two week from now I may be embarrassed that I put this out there because we've given up. But for right now, we are loving bookending our days with a recognition that God is here, that there is more going on than we can see, and that we are in this thing together.


    1 comment:

    CWBachur said...

    Inspiring and interesting. May God bless those changes. It is hard to keep good rhythms in life when the society has it's own drum beat blaring around us. Let us know how God uses this in your life.