One of my favorite passages from Eugene Peterson’s The Message translation is Matthew 11:28-30,
“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.”
The phrase “unformed rhythms of grace” particularly captures and holds my attention.
Several days ago I discovered an article by Greg Cootsona, “The Science of the Unforced Rhythms of Grace,”* in which he references these verses and goes on to talk about rhythm. In part he writes,
“Life is best lived with the right rhythm.,,, It’s what drummers call being ‘in the groove.’ As a drummer, it’s when you’re feeling the rhythm so deeply that you’re almost obligated to stay in it. Not too fast, nor too slow….. This unforced rhythm of grace — the groove — happens when we find the right rhythm of yes and no, of notes and spaces.,,, We start to groove by stopping and listening to the ultimate space of silence….”
How does that sound to you? Does “unforced rhythms of grace” fit anything in your experience? Does it ring true for your experience of religion, church, faithfulness, discipleship? Or do those words conjure up something that to you is forced? If it is forced, why do you think that is?
Sorry to have so many questions today, but I wonder if many of us, especially me, need to read and re-read this passage and not only see these words, but hear them, take them to heart, and,
“… Get away with me …recover your life….. take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it . Learn the unforced rhythms of grace…. learn to live freely and lightly.”
How can I start?