It's the rhythms of grace that are the hardest for me. I think. The finished work of grace, this I understand. The unfinished work of grace, the kind we have to wait for until heaven, this I understand.
It's the rhythms. The ebb and the flow. The here, so strongly and tangible one day, and gone, so hard and difficult the next. It's not the grace that changes, I know this. It's the inbetweens.
This morning my boss read the end of Matthew 11 aloud in our staff meeting and I felt my heart choke, my eyes well up:
"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."
This year has been a lot of just learning grace, sitting in it, basking in it, letting the fullness of what it implies wash over me. Bathe me in comfort, love, joy, fullness.
But this passage about rest is full of active verbs and this is what I feel my heart catch on this morning.
Get away with me. Take a real rest. Walk with me. Work with me. Learn the rhythms. Keep company with me.
This seems like an awful lot of work to do rest.
And there's a strange comfort in that. The comfort is this: rest is intentional too. It means saying no to being busy, choosing to be busy being unbusy. It means not answering my phone. It means letting the text messages build up. It means sitting with my roommates when I could be doing other things. It means lighting a candle, laughing, choosing rest.
The thing about rhythm is that the beat doesn't change, it is grace, grace, always grace. But the melody does. And I am learning to fill in life around the steady tempo of grace.