One thing I have heard from many of you who I've called over the last few weeks (if you haven't had a call from me, don't worry on the list :) ) is how routines or rhythms have been important in carrying on as normally as possible in the current lockdown.
I, like you, have found rhythms to be important. For me is not so much daily ones, its more weekly ones which I suppose is my norm when life is "normal." With 4 paying part-time ministry roles, I've worked hard to try to focus on only one of those roles each day in order to both be productive and so others know when I'm available. That has changed since we went into lockdown and the nature of the situation we are in has meant I often have to work on 3 of those roles (one role has come to an end for the foreseeable future) all on the same day. Don't get me wrong - I'm not complaining but there was one thing that had slipped from my routine because circumstances had changed. That was my devotional time.
Pre lockdown my routine was to listen to the Bible and pray (with my eyes open) while I was driving. Like many of you my car doesn't leave the carport these days (well twice for essential trips to the supermarket). Call me a creature of habit but I didn't get around to changing my devotional practice.
Until last week that is, when I changed another habit and started getting some exercise! As I walk the neighbourhood (keeping 2 metres from the few others I see) I also listen to God's word and pray. Walking the neighbourhood is a good way to remember to pray for the community - maybe I'll talk about that on another Monday.
Late last year I was introduced to a book "Unforced Rhythms" by Rev. Gwen Jackson.
It's about "finding the spiritual beat that matches the rhythm of your soul." One reviewer puts it this way "Without dismissing the time-honoured practice of daily prayer, Gwen Jackson frees us from the false notion that we must all relate to God in the same way." When I read that, and heard Gwen speak last year, I felt an overwhelming sense of freedom, freedom from guilt, freedom to relate to God in rhythm with how he made me. Today as I walked the streets and "caught up" on 2 days worth of readings, I was reminded of that and that it's not how often we spend time with God that matters - it's that we do so regularly - according to the spiritual beat that matches the rhythm of our soul.
Whatever that spiritual beat is I pray that you find it and God enables and empowers you to read his word and pray regularly in tune with how he made you.
Blessings for the week ahead