We are what we do."
"We are what we do repeatedly over many, many years.”
Rhythm V.S. Routine
We all have a routine that we follow every single day. We wake up, check instagram, make coffee, shower (sometimes), got to work/school, hang with friends, read, watch netflix, etc. Some of us love routine and others of us feel like we are allergic to routine (like myself). For those of us in the latter group, we like to think that we are free spirited and open to whatever the day may bring. Others of us love the security and stability brought by knowing exactly what is going to take place in a given week. The truth is, we’re both wrong. Life doesn’t happen exactly how we expect, even when we plan every second of our week. At the same time, the free spirit mythology often leaves us stuck and empty because everything we want in life requires some intentionality and action on our part.
This is why I prefer the word rhythm over a word like routine. A rhythm calls for the same amount of intentionality and discipline as a routine does, however it also respects and honors what is beyond our control. Namely, life. Also namely, God.
How We Are Shaped
Most of us want to become a certain kind of something. We want to become a man of a certain character. Just by the fact that you’re reading this somehow means you are on a journey of becoming that involves you intentionally searching for resources and like-minded people to encourage you in becoming who you want to be.
Also if you’re reading this there is a good chance that the man you want to become is one who reflects the character of Jesus and lives into the reality that you are made in the image of God.
But there’s a gap to mind. The person we want to become, the person God desires we become, our truest and most Christ-like self, is not who we woke up being this morning.
So becoming is a journey and the rhythms we engage in the ones we set as a priority of our life contribute greatly to that becoming in one way or another.
The things we do shape us. The things we repeatedly do, shape us deeply. This is good news! This means that we can be intentional about the activities that we choose to engage with and the ones we choose to abstain from.
What we do is important but what we do is not the most important thing when it comes character transformation. Scripture tells us in Galatians that the character of Christ is really the fruit that the Holy Spirit brings to bear in us. But that same passage tells us to keep in step with the Spirit as our part of bringing that fruit to bear. Meaning, there is something divinely unique that takes place when we choose to intentionally set our lives up in a way where we keep in step with the spirit, like a rhythm, and then the spirit meets us in those practices and brings forth true transformation, true shaping, true becoming.
Introducing The Rhythms Series
This whole dance of becoming is what we want to focus on this summer. This summer we will be taking a deep dive into these rhythms that bring about transformation and life. We will do this by looking at the practices and activities that have been engaged with by Jesus and his followers for thousands of years. These practices are often referred to by some as spiritual disciplines. The ones we will be looking at fall into three different categories:
Rhythms of Space: The ways we carve out space of time, mind, and attention for the Spirit to create something new in us.
Rhythms of Connection: The ways we connect deeply with God, his people and his world.
Rhythms of Resistance: The ways we actively resist the forces of evil and empire in the world on an individual and and communal level so that all can flourish, especially the most vulnerable among us.
Along with the articles written by our Core Contributors exploring the practices of these categories, we will also be providing downloadable worksheets for you to be able to engage with each of the practices as well as guided reflection to pay attention to what the Spirit is doing in you through these practices and guided discussion questions for you to grow along side others in the context of community.
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Jonathon grew up in six different states across the Western United States. He made his way to Southern California to attend Vanguard University where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication. Currently, he is pursuing a Master's of Divinity Degree at Azusa Pacific University where he also works doing campus ministry with college students. Jonathon is passionate about discipleship to Jesus and innovation, especially when those two spaces meet. He aspires to encourage people to live well-curated lives of purpose and passion. You can find Jonathon living in his beloved city of Costa Mesa, California with his amazing wife, Cyndi. Oh yeah, and he is a HUGE Raiders fan.