Daily Rhythms of Walking with God

26 06 2008

Taking a quick break from our discussions about church and community-wide discipleship I want to share something very personally important to me – the design of my daily rhythms of walking with God.

In the same way discovering the HOW of church has been like being lost in a foggy maze without a guide, discovering the HOW of a vibrant, growing walk with God has been equally if not more difficult. But lately I’ve been feeling like my head is starting to peak above the fog and I want to throw out there some practices that have been immensely helpful to me (partially because I feel very few people have been willing to open up to me on HOW they walk with God daily). I’m beginning to become convinced that the key (at least for me) is the development of a rhythmic life where rhythms exist to serve as boundaries that give freedom in which I can flourish.

I’ve constructed 5 types of rhythmic boundaries to my life –

  1. A morning rhythm
  2. An evening rhythm
  3. Spontaneous rhythms
  4. A weekly rhythm
  5. Life rhythms

In this post I want to share my morning rhythm.

First, I went out and bought a pretty big white board so I could design the rhythms, make quick changes and see them easily throughout the day.

Next I wrote out all the elements that I wanted to be a part of my morning

  • Shower
  • Dressed
  • Breakfast
  • Task List
  • Write
  • Prayer
  • Task List
  • Family Meeting

I wrote down an initial progression on the white board and did it very rigidly the next morning. I would make observations of how my energy flowed from one to the next. I reordered the rhythm and added and subtracted elements and attacked it again the next day. Sometimes I needed to tweak how I did a specific element, what I did at prayer or writing or the family meeting etc. It took about 3-4 weeks of a lot of observation, strategizing and prayer before I felt I arrived at a sustainable life giving rhythm that would only have to be tweaked on occasion.

So today this is what I do EVERY morning in this order

  • Get up immediately when I wake (I don’t use an alarm)
  • Shower (this is done daily more to give energy and washing my face is what REALLY wakes me up)
  • Brush teeth and get dressed
  • Write for 20 minutes (writing stimulates my mind like a shower stimulates my body so by the time this is done I’m fully awake)
  • Make Breakfast for me and my wife (I make the Chunky Strawberry Smoothie every morning)
  • Family Meeting (while eating I meet with my kids to go over what they accomplished yesterday and set up tasks for the day for home school)
  • Prayer (I spend about an hour in my room starting with worship then writing prayers and pace the room after each or using the olyptical to pray through each item and asking the Holy Spirit for guidance on Bible reading)
  • Task List (I end the day asking the Lord what he wants me to do that day and write each item down in a notebook, prioritize the list and get to work)

I’ve also made a number of decisions to protect my morning rhythm like I NEVER meet with anyone or have a planned event before 11am for example. A lot of the success of this rhythm, however, hinges on my evening rhythm which I’ll share later

I’ve never actually shared my rhythm with anyone so I’d be interested to hear if others do similar things or if you can give me any tips on things I might be missing.

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6 responses

26 06 2008
Mike Edwards

Thanks for sharing this. It stimulated good conversation for Sherry and I and we are going to take a more intentional look at our rhythm(s). One thing I wonder, from your perspective, is what do you think the difference is between ‘routine’ and ‘rhythm’?

Anyway—thanks for being open to sharing such things. It is challenging to me, since I tend to fall into rhythms without thinking about it, which means I’m being driven by something besides the Spirit.

Grace
mike

26 06 2008
Jonathan Brink

Jeremy, I have one rhythm that I try to practice. To listen. Much like a great song that gets played over and over in my iTunes, I try not to get stuck in a pattern. This allows me to shift at any moment to where God is calling me.

And what ends up happening is I get a new song every day. And God is pretty good at picking songs.

And as usual, its the days that I’m doing my own thing that the song typically is some top 40 pop song that sucks.

27 06 2008
eden2zion

Mike – I think of a routine as something that you happen to do everyday. A rhythm is something that is carefully designed paying special attention to how to maximize energy, productivity and balance. Like the weekly rhythm God gave the Israelites with 6 days thou shalt labor one day thou shalt rest.

Jonathan – I like that idea. I believe one of the natural results of being Spirit-filled throughout the day is being given a heart song (Eph. 5:18-20)

25 08 2008
Manyo

Can you unpack why you don’t use an alarm and when you usually get up? (The evening rhythm post hasn’t come). I rarely get up with the alarm on the first time.

Also, do you never read without first being prompted on where? Would this be different for someone who has not read through all of the scriptures, to get in daily reading?

4 05 2009
Rhythm of Life - Walking with God with the Church « The Hand of God

[…] also mentions here how he incorporates rhythm in his daily life – his daily […]

10 09 2009
sandrar

Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. 🙂 Cheers! Sandra. R.

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