January 3, 2021
Happy New Year! As we come into 2021, we can finally consider 2020 over and done with. Depending on who you ask, it might have been good, or it might have been terrible. We can all look back on the covid-19 pandemic, and hope that 2021 brings a gradual return to normalcy. That’s where the idea of rhythm comes in. Spiritual Arrhythmia could be what happens to people after a long year like 2020. 2020 sent us a lot of disruptions: we weren’t meeting in church at the building. We had to learn new technology in Zoom meetings, streaming services online, and adapting our homes to become school spaces and work spaces.
2020 threw all our routines out of whack. That might have thrown people off their spiritual rhythms too. Spiritual arrhythmia is a lot like heart arrhythmia, where your heart isn’t beating in rhythm.
You can warm up and exercise to speed up your heart, and you can rest, relax, or meditate to slow it back down. Your heart is supposed to switch rhythms steadily, not suddenly. However, arrhythmia may cause your heart to rush when you’re at rest, provoking sweating and anxiety. In some cases, medications can help. Sometimes doctors even have to shock your heart back into the correct rhythm.
Sudden events in your life can be like those shocks—a tragic death, the loss of a job, a sudden illness, or some other bad event—and they suddenly remind you that only God is in control of everything. But there are also gradual ways to get your heart back into the spiritual rhythm with God. Taking certain medicines can keep your heart beating in the right rhythm. Just like taking medicines, there are things we can do in life to get our spiritual rhythm back.
In Genesis 1, God speaks. He begins creating order out of chaos. In this chapter, we can see the first rhythm in creation:
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.Genesis 1:1-5 (NIV)
You can see the start of one of the earliest rhythms of Earth: night and day. This rhythm keeps up until at last, God finishes creating, and rests. This rest isn’t because God gets hot and sweaty and tired, but because Creation is complete, and God knows it. He makes the seventh day of creation holy, and later tells the Israelites to keep it holy (Exodus 20:8-11). That’s a special rhythm too; a calling that reminds us to look to God.
Wherever you are in the New Year, we hope it’s happy and blessed. If you’re out of your spiritual rhythm, we invite you to join us in looking at how to get your heart back into the rhythm of God’s heart.