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Unforced Rhythms of Grace

mountsinai1I have long loathed the word balance.  Awhile ago, adapting a principle I read in Matthew (from the Message translation), I exchanged ‘balance’ in my vocabulary with ‘rhythm.’ Matthew 11: 28-30 “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.”

Doesn’t that already make you breathe easier?  God, in all his perspective, has written a daily rhythm we can listen for and sing along to. Some days, the rhythm picks up a bit and you move fast, other days, it’s slow and sweet and the only way you can fold into the day’s rhythm is by listening to the one who has ‘written every day before they came to be (Psalm 139).’ Balance makes me think I am in control. I am checking boxes, I am managing time, I am developing, controlling. Rhythm sounds like a posture of listening, discernment, and being Spirit-led.

There is this funny exchange in Exodus 19 where God asks Moses to climb Mt. Sinai three times in a row. He draws him up to tell him a message to take back down. I might be thinking if I were Moses, ‘If I heard you tell me to come up, I could hear you tell me what you want to say from down at the base of the mountain. That way an entire day is not being ‘wasted’ with the climb..’.  He arrives at the top though and the Lord tells him to go back down and get Aaron and come back up again. Really? If I heard you tell me to come up the first time, I could have heard the direction to grab Aaron before I climbed this mountain! At this point, Moses was 80 years old and climbing the 6,000 feet of Mt. Sinai was no small task. His actions were ‘out of balance’, he spent the bulk of the week either climbing up or down a mountain.


I think God had something for Moses in that long week’s walk. He learned to keep company with him, to listen for direction, and as the Lord tested his obedience and submission, he prepared him for what was coming in Exodus chapter 20, the Ten Commandments.

Words associated with balance speak to me of fear, “Am I keeping everything together?” “Am I looking like I have it all under control?”  And fear has a way of robbing us of storylines God is offering.

I am not perfect at this. With nine children and a full-time job, I have a lot of plates spinning in the air, but that is all the more reason for me to listen to the one who promises if I keep company with him, I ‘will learn to live freely and lightly.’


Beth Guckenberger

This post is part of our series Finding Balance as a Busy Mom. 

Please check the series page for all of the posts! 

Finding Balance as a Busy Mom

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