There is a descriptive phrase called the Rule of Life.
It is a structure or framework by which to live your life. The Rule of Life is meant to guide you along a path that is the best for you. While I embrace the concept, I pull back from the thought of this being a rule. Some of us say rules are meant to be broken. If we take that approach to our rule of life it lessens the value. Dr. David Vryhof speaks about growing your rule of life but also steers away from calling it a rule. He says that when monastics talk about rules, they are not talking about rules that we should follow. The word rules come from a Latin word, regula, which means to regularize, as this relates to life, it is bringing order to the way you live your life, the way it flows, and the sound it makes.
Thinking about it in a unique way, my attention is drawn to a Sacred Rhythm of Relating in Life. This is not a rule to implement and then break. It is a posture of the heart that has a profound impact on your life. Subconsciously, we all have a rhythm or a posture that we live and relate to. That rhythm acts as a guide rather than a rule. An even better description is your sacred posture, which refers to your connection with God deserving veneration with a particular way of dealing with or considering something, an approach or attitude.
Your sacred posture creates your sacred rhythm. A rhythm is a cadence or a beat or measure that keeps things moving forward in the desired direction to produce a melodic outcome for your life.
Consider an orchestra. Before it can create a unified sound, members must first embody the correct posture. The discipline of posture is just as important if not more than the rhythm you create or the outcome.
Knowing Your Outcome
I can imagine a conductor thinking of outcomes for a piece of music. He/she is leading from a pre-determined posture, one that creates a beautiful cohesive rhythm. Alondra de la Parra conducts L’Orchestre de Paris in a concert that weaves musical bridges between Mexico and France. You can tell by watching him/her and the orchestra that they crafted their rhythm after they crafted their posture. Each person displays their own unique position to become skilled at presenting their talent on behalf of the greater whole. It is a marvelous display of the outcome of musical proficiency and posture.
Developing Your Posture
What does it take to develop your posture? Let me offer this thought. Posture is created in solitude and in listening. Consider co-creating with God since developing your posture goes much deeper than simply deciding what kind of person you want to become. A posture that is created with the plumb-line of the Spirit of God comes with its own internal fortitude. This way the Spirit of God becomes the structure keeper instead of you becoming that for yourself. God knows exactly what type of posture you need in order to produce the marvelous music He has created you to to contribute to the Kingdom. In her book, Invitation to Solitude and Silence, Ruth Haley Barton writes:
As you are sitting in solitude with God: Allow your inner experiences and dynamics to come to the surface; feel them, name them, sit with them, and express them to God. Let it be enough to create space for yourself and those things that are stirring in the interior places of your soul. Listen to them not as experiences to avoid but as invitations to open yourself to God in new ways. When your time allotted for silence is over, thank God for His presence with you during this time of noticing.
She also writes:
In solitude, God begins to free us from our bondage to human expectations, for there we experience God as our ultimate reality—One in whom we live and move and have our being. In solitude, our thoughts and our mind, our will, and our desires are reoriented Godward so we become less and less attracted to external forces and can be more deeply responsive to God’s desire and prayer in us.
In her 31 day devotional, Regardless, Dr.Michele C. Walker also brings forward the importance of allowing God’s posture to be the guiding compass in our lives:
We pray because we recognize our own inabilities and weaknesses as compared to God’s capable strength. Our assurance is that He hears and answers us. In fact, He responds immediately, even when we do not realize the nature of the response. His answer is the purest action we could ever hope for, being both sovereign and supportive.
Posture is developed in secret places yet displayed in the public arena. To build a strong posture, spend time in the secret place with God the Father.
Crafting Your Sacred Rhythm
What kind of outcome do you want for your life? What do you want your sacred rhythm to look and sound like? What kind of music do you want to make with others? What do you want that sound to say about you? Look again at conductor Alondra de la Parra, as she leads with a posture and rhythm that shows in her actions and certainly on her face. The members of the orchestra watch her for directional cues to know what to do next – do they go loud or become exceptionally soft? They have a relational rhythm that provides space for her to lead and for them to follow.
Your Sacred Rhythm of Relating in Life might cause you to take on an approach to connecting that says, “When I am with you, I am with you with my whole being.” This means I am not thinking about my next meeting or who might be leaving me a voice message. I am fully present with you because I value our time and relationship. Or, it might say to your team, “I may not fully understand where you are coming from, but I’m willing to listen.”
Your every rhythm, when crafted in solitude with God, will show up with intentional and purposeful presence. People will get to know what you “feel like” and not just what you say. And they will learn to trust your rhythm. You will learn to move according to your crafted posture and rhythm, adjusting when one of them is out of alignment with who you really want to be.
The way you relate in life does not have to be random or subject to impulse or reaction. It can be intentional, steady, and grounded in love and deep awareness.
Like the conductor and her orchestra, what kind of rhythm do you sense God is inviting you to create?
Know your outcome.
Develop your posture.
Craft your Sacred Rhythm of Life.
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