I’m a highlighter when I read. It helps me find things I want to remember later. It often feels as though God will pull threads from different places to weave them into a lesson or a story. Below are some of the recent threads that God is working together.
C.S. Lewis said, “The more we get what we now call ‘ourselves’ out of the way and let God take us over, the more truly ourselves we become.” In a world where you can find a self-help program for everything, Lewis reminds us that what we really need is to get out of the way. To say as John the Baptist did: “He [Jesus] must become greater; I must become less.” (John 3:30)
Ann Voskamp writes, “Forget ‘New year, New resolutions, New you.’ What we need more than possessing a bunch of resolutions in hand, is to actually be a person who is resolved. What you need more than splashy resolutions, is steady rhythms.”
She then shared the story of Cliff Young, a 61-year-old who won an ultra-marathon of 543.7 miles from Sydney to Melbourne Australia. Young beat competitors half his age simply because he didn’t stop running. He didn’t know you were allowed to sleep. So, while other competitors ran 18 hours a day and slept 6 hours, Young simply kept running – for 5 days, fifteen hours, and four minutes straight. He crossed the finish line first, shattering the world record.
I imagine there was a simple, steady rhythm as he ran. Cliff Young didn’t quit running his race, no matter what the conditions, terrain or challenges he faced. He got back up anytime he fell down. That is a lesson for all of us.
We may never run a marathon, let alone over 500 miles, but we can learn the lesson of steady rhythms over splashy resolutions in the way we choose to live our daily lives. Cliff Young had learned to run by doing everyday things – running on his family’s farm to round up sheep. Voskamp says, “Sometimes the best training for the really big things is just the everyday things.”
Theologian Martin Luther also saw the value in everyday things. “The works of monks and priests, however holy and arduous they be, do not differ one whit in the sight of God from the works of the rustic laborer in the field or the woman going about her household tasks, but that all works are measured before God by faith alone.”
Praying for Rhythms!