In my message about Chapter 2, I highlighted the word, “daily” in Jesus’ words: “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves, take up their cross daily and follow me.” (Lk 9:23). For me, Jesus’ words mean that my commitment to Christ is lived and renewed everyday. It may be renewed in prayer (the daily quiet time – DQT – of chapter 3), or it may be renewed in action, by what I do and by the choices I make.
For me, these two – the DQT and action – often are in tension. I used to pursue “balance” in this and other areas of life, but I’ve come to think that balance is an illusion. A pastor I know pointed out that striving for balance in life is like trying to stand on one foot. You can do it, but only for short periods of time. The biblical approach is not balance, but rhythm.
The trick is to stay in rhythm, more like walking than standing on one foot. Or maybe more like dancing! It takes so much practice to stay in rhythm (especially West Coast Swing), and I easily misstep and lose the rhythm. Like I’ve discovered, but I keep forgetting, that I need the rhythm of going away to a “solitary place” even more than the weekly rhythm of six days and Sabbath.
So I’m looking forward to reading the chapter and the texts this week as an exercise in recovering my rhythm.