As I was writing my first book, working full-time, attending seminary part-time, and trying to have a pulse as a husband I did something that makes little sense: I added something else into my daily schedule.
I know what you’re thinking already, and no, it doesn’t make sense. In fact the first thing I did was add, rather than subtract.
But guess what? It was the best decision I made during that season of my life.
The Most Important Thing
The reason I added something to my life is because I believe you have to be extremely focused on the most important things as life gets busier. It’s easy to become whipped around as the pace of life ramps up. The people who can manage the craze are the ones who stay rooted in something beyond it.
If the most important thing in life gets drowned out by the overwhelming amount of somewhat important things, you will quickly burn out over the pressure to continue performing well.
For me this most important thing is having and developing a connection with God, through His Son Jesus, being empowered by the Holy Spirit’s action. Without this most important thing, all the other things become idols that I worship in order to find purpose and fulfillment. Without this most important thing my ability to operate well within the other important things diminishes quickly.
Cultivating the soil where God is able to breathe life into man has been an ongoing pursuit. This is representative in my own life, as well as in the history of mankind.
We desire for the transcendent to also become immanent in our lives.
Doing so allows a fulfilling life even when circumstances around break down. When the transcendent becomes immanent in life, the other important things take their rightful place behind the most important thing.
Over the course of the previous 12 months I’ve been slowly developing my own spiritual rhythms. Mine likely wouldn’t work well for you because you are not me.
However, I have found that everyone needs to pour into these 3 spiritual rhythms.
For me this means I begin my day by reading God’s word. I often accompany this reading with the reading of a book I am working through. And lately I’ve been reading through prayer books to help guide my thoughts during a step I will discuss later in this post.
It’s part of being human to desire to create, build, and cultivate before ever allowing the breath of God to give life to dry bones. The Scriptures teach that the words within it are living and active, sharpening us, and preparing us. You must begin by taking them in.
Effective Bible study and Bible reading leads to application. But between those steps is processing. For me this is most often done through prayer. Recently I purchased a few books to help guide my prayer times. Often the words of these writers prompt my processing prayers to go to deeper places.
Processing can take on the life of various forms. It does not have to be quiet meditation and prayer, but it does always allow us to more clearly sense what the active presence of God is trying to say.
As someone who writes, 90% of the time my breathing out comes in the form of words.
One of the vital pieces in the spiritual life, and overlooked by many, is breathing out.
It’s far more comfortable to hold the goodness of God within, but God constantly calls us to breathe out into the darkened abyss of the world.
This breathing out can take on the life of many forms, but the key component is viewing your work within the context of spiritual rhythms. When God becomes intimately connected to your breathing out in life, it’s effectiveness will never be greater.
Even as my life has slowed, with the season of book writing and school work on top of normal life, these daily rhythms have remained constant in my life.
I found a vitality for life through these that gave my life a buoyancy above the turbulent waters of life.