Eugene Peterson wrote the words “unforced rhythms of grace” when he translated the Bible into the modern day translation The Message. Those words deeply struck me the first time I read them, and to this day continue to capture me. What are unforced rhythms of grace?
The definition of a rhythm is a strong, regular, repeated pattern of sound or movement. As a kid, I learned to play the clarinet. The first time I picked up the instrument it definitely was not a beautiful sound that came out of it, but over time as I continued to practice I learned how to come into rhythm with the music and eventually playing felt unforced and natural.
Sometimes we have to push ourselves into rhythm by practicing something until it becomes a part of our lives. Rhythms can and do change as we change, and so we find what rhythms work in our lives for the seasons we are in.
This month we will begin to explore what it means to create rhythms in our lives, and how we can move from forced rhythms to unforced rhythms. As we explore rhythms, it’s also an opportunity for us to practice grace in our lives. Certain rhythms work for some people, and not for others, and that’s okay. So extend some grace to yourself as we explore and play with creating rhythms in our lives. May this season of spiritual practice bring you joy as you discover the rhythm of your season!
“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.” ~ Matthew 11:28-30