Saturday, May 27, 2017

An Authentic Rhythm

I know that it's not just me. 
Life moves at an alarming speed.
Schedules rule our world. 
Each day has its own schedule and it's own frantic pace.
And, to be honest -- I do it to myself in a lot of ways.
Sure, having a job is necessary for my husband and I to be able to pay bills and take care of our family. 
School is necessary for my children.
Those are things that are necessary and dictate part of our schedules. 

The rest is added by us, though. 
Dance lessons, baseball, church softball,  as well as the things we add to make ourselves feel like we are being the best parents and that we are having real family time. 
It's all by choice. 
Being "good parents" and doing with and for our kids seems to have taken over in society. 
These days, it seems like in order to be a "good parent" that filling up my kids lives with activity and having my life revolve around those activities is what has to happen. 

I have felt the pressure of this way of life for a long time. 
Just like every parent, I want my kids to be successful in life. I want them to try things and be a part of teams and all of the stuff, for sure.

Of course, it's no secret that church and the things that happen there are a priority for my family. Most people look at me and think, "Well, it has to be that way. You're the preacher'a family.".  But you know what? It's not.   Even though we are in attendance at Church every week, it  easily becomes "just one more thing on the schedule".

For a long while now, I've felt that it's not right.
That all of the stuff is too much and that church shouldn't be just one more thing to check off of our weekly schedule. 
Going to Sunday school to learn about God, worshiping the Creator who gives us each new day, and small groups that grow our faith shouldn't be things to check off of our schedules.
 Lately, even reading my bible each day has become a check on my to do list. 
The trouble I see in all of this is that I have been working so hard to fill my kids time with the extra stuff that they want to do, things that make me feel that I am giving them the "perfect" childhood that the thing that matters most, easily becomes "one more thing to do".

I long for authentic faith in myself and pray that my kids will see that in me and want to have their own authentic relationship with God.
That they will see the value of walking with him and putting their faith above all of the other "stuff".
A while back, a friend recommended this book to me. 

The title alone spoke to my heart. Being present, authentically in the moment, instead of caught up in the frantic pace of our lives, is where I long to be. 
I ordered it and began reading it slowly. 
This morning, this part jumped out at me.

"My faith has not failed me, but I think maybe I have failed my faith"

That first line jumped out at me and stabbed my heart. 
Yes, I've allowed the frantic pace, the success, the "things" -
 to make it so that I'm not present in my faith.
  We have been in church and I have been reading my bible, but a lot of the time these are just things to check off of our to do list.

That's not authentic faith. 
That's not what I want my kids to learn. 
I want them to learn that being present with God, walking through each day, each moment-- especially the harried and frantic ones, is imperative. 
Having Him as the center of all we do-- not on the periphery, not just one more "check",
 but the most important part of each moment and each day.

That gathering in worship with others is what we are called to do.
 And not to be there physically, but to truly worship Him and thank Him for who HE is.
 For continually allowing us, the broken, forgetful, frantically trying to "keep up with the Jones" , the ones who make everything else more of a priority than actually worshiping Him -- to come back.
To return and try again to be present with Him.
  To walk with Him each moment of each day instead of making Him an after thought. 
That's who I want to be and who I want my kids to be. 
Thankful this morning for the reminder that I've quite possibly failed my faith. 
A reminder that the noise and the speed of life need not overtake the Authentic Rhythm that God has set for us. 
To make His way of life our way of life and not another item on my to-do list. 

Wow. I didn't set out to write this much. 
Frankly, I wanted to post the picture of the quote and share that it spoke to my heart this morning. 

Dear Lord, forgive me for failing my faith.
 Help me live in your Rhythm and walk with you each day. And help my children see in me an authentic faith and relationship with you. One that makes them long for you and their own authentic relationship with you. Because  that is really the thing that matters most in this life......and in eternity. Amen

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