“In the gospel accounts, we don’t see Jesus scurrying around driven by what we might call ‘hurry sickness,'” writes Stephen W. Smith. “We don’t sense Jesus navigating white water. We don’t see Him spinning plates or trying to live a balanced life. None of the four biographers of Jesus show Him in a hurry—ever.”
In his book, The Jesus Life: Eight Ways to Recover Authentic Christianity, Smith teaches that we not only need to listen to the words of Jesus but watch the lifestyle of Jesus, as well. And if we look closely, we’ll see that Jesus’ life is marked by a rhythm. This is especially clear, says Smith, in the Gospel of Luke:
Engage then disengage; work in the crowds but always make time to rejuvenate with time alone. Luke revealed that Jesus was not always on, He was not always available. This important lesson is key to sustaining a resilient and satisfying life.
Smith then goes on to tell the story of two “modern pilgrims,” Rich and Carla, who “graduated from a Christian college, got married, and moved to the mission field.”
They both had a dream of sharing Jesus with others who had never heard His teachings. But eighteen months after they arrived in their assigned country, they came back home. They left enthusiastic and invigorated. They returned broken and discouraged. Both shared that they had worked over seventy hours a week in a tireless effort with dozens of volunteer teams to build a children’s center from a crumbling building. They said, “We never had a day off. We never had one moment to ourselves. We hosted college students in our homes who stayed up late playing games, and we found ourselves playing the games with them until the early-morning hours. We went to bed exhausted, got up exhausted, did our work exhausted, and fought all the time—it seemed.”
Sound familiar? Feel familiar?
If so, and if you’d like help in imitating the rhythmic life of Jesus, pick up a copy of The Jesus Life.
(Stephen W. Smith, The Jesus Life: Eight Way to Recover Authentic Christianity, Colorado Springs: David C Cook, 2012)
[photo: “Plate Spinning,” by Vincent Cornelius, used under a Creative Commons license]