What were Jesus’ daily rhythms? (original image by Ivan Nikolaevich Kramskoi)[/caption] Yesterday some of my twitter friends had a discussion on whether or not Jesus led a balanced life. Now I was not really part of the discussion so I cannot comment on what was said but it seemed to me that they came to the conclusion that Jesus did not lead a balanced life and that really concerns me. It reminds me of that bumper sticker that was popular a few years back “Jesus Is Coming Back Look Busy”. I suspect that many of us make excuses for our own busy lives by making the excuse that Jesus was busy too. But was he as busy as we seem to be? When I developed Chronic Fatigue Syndrome sixteen years ago – partly as a result of overwork, I spent almost a year in bed with plenty of time to reflect on what I had done wrong and what I could have done differently. I spent a lot of time reading through the gospels specifically asking myself the question How did Jesus spend his time on earth? It was an enlightening study as I started to realize that Jesus really did have a very balanced life. There were times when he was really busy but those were usually balanced with more relaxed times when he walked and talked with his friends or withdrew into the hills to pray. I identified 3 basic rhythms – the balance between spiritual and secular, work and rest and community and solitude. To that I would now add the balance between fasting and feasting. I explore these rhythms in detail in my book GodSpace but here is the short version:
- Jesus never made a decision without spending at least a night in prayer. How many less mistakes would we make and how much more relaxed a lifestyle would we lead if we had even a fraction of that commitment?
- Jesus spent more time forming community than he did working. Community slows us down, encourages us when we are stressed, helps us to discern what we should and should not be doing.
- Jesus work was focused on the in breaking of God’s kingdom not on putting bread on the table each day – that he encouraged his followers to trust God for. How much of our busyness and dysfunctional rhythms are because we are caught up in the consumer culture that focuses on the making and spending of money on ourselves?
- Everywhere that Jesus went there was a party. Jesus was constantly celebrating life with enthusiasm from the time that he performed his first miracle at a wedding he was constantly encouraging people to enjoy life with enthusiasm. One of my favorite Bible stories is that of Jesus making breakfast for his friends after he rose from the dead.