Dear Friends in Christ,

“And on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done. So, God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all the work that he had done in creation.” (Genesis 2:2-3)

Semi-Circle: Rhythm of Life (Rest and Work)

As we make our way through these days of crisis and trauma, I want to encouarge you to take the necessary time for rest and renewal. In the Creation account recorded in Genesis 1-2, we read that God built a time of rest and renewal into the fabric of Creation. The seventh day is created to be a day of rest. It is a blessed day and it is a holy day. The seventh day is also a gift from God for the people of God and for all creation. We are human beings, and not human doings; and human beings were created to rest and to work… in that order. You see, in the rhythm of life that God keeps, we work from our rest; we don’t rest from our work. Think about that for just a moment.

In the book Building a Discipling Culture, Pastor Mike Breen uses common shapes to establish a “shared language” to help create a discipling culture. The Semi-Circle is the shape designated to help us learn the rhythm of rest and work. The Semi-Circle works like a playground teeter-totter or see-saw. Who can forget the time your older cousin held you sky-high, only to drop you back to the earth like a sack of potatoes? I can still feel that rapid descent and the bone jarring landing. Or how about that time you and your nice cousin worked hard to perfectly balance the teeter-totter and celebrate the gift of equilibrium with hands thrown high in the air! The Semi-Circle is about seeking proper balance in the rhythm of our lives.

Like many of you, I have been a bit out of balance these past few weeks. Work has grown almost exponentially. In fact, I could work all day, everyday, and still not complete everything that I want to accomplish. (Please notice the words “I want” in the previous sentence). As I ponder the Semi-Circle, and God’s call to learn and to live a sacred rhythm, I wonder what God wants? Certainly, God longs for us to work in good and fruitful ways, but God also longs for us to take the time for rest and renewal.

Think back upon this past week. What does your Semi-Circle look like? Was there time for both sacred work and sacred rest? Think about your day today? Are there times for both rest and work? Are there times for relationships and recreation? Are there times for engaging and disengaging?

We are human beings and not human doings. God created us for work and labor, but God also created us for rest and renewal. My prayer is that all of us seek to learn and to live God’s beautiful and sacred rhythm for life.

Let us pray, “Lord Jesus, you bid us to come to you. We are weary from bearing heavy burdens. Give us rest. Help us to take up your yoke and learn from you.  For you are gentle and humble in heart, and we will find rest for our souls. For your yoke is easy, and your burden is light.” Amen.