2008 is the Year of Rhythm

In the beginning, God gave us a rhythm of work-rest-worship so that we would be able to maintain our relationship with Him while leading effective and productive lives. He gave us natural seasons so that we wouldn't have to do everything all the time, but focus on what was right for the season. And one of the most beautiful insights in "The Message" is the passage about taking on Jesus' yoke and burden: "Walk with me and work with me-- watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace."

This is the year of Rhythm. When people ask me "How are you?" I tend to answer "Rushed and disorganized." The person who asked laughs, and I laugh, and we understand each other. But what does it do for my witness that I serve the Savior who constantly told people that he did things only at their right time, and yet when people see me work, they see me acting frantic and overburdened?

One of the ways I'm seeking rhythm this year is by limiting the amount of work I plan to do each day. Beyond my regular routine, I want to work on three tasks. Each one gets more attention that way, hopefully gets done faster, and leaves me more time for rest and contact with kids. This will mean more carefully planning out the work I'm doing and when it's going to get done; it means when I do my long-term planning I need to build in not only the dates of events but the dates when I can sit down and create the program for each one.

One of the things that's on my weekly plan is "read 1 hour each day." This is supposed to let me research, keep up with the latest that my fellow youth ministers are writing, and give me time for some pondering. And I'm going to use this as my first benchmark of how well I'm doing with keeping up a rhythm; when I'm reading without worrying, I'll have made a first step.

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