Eugene Peterson uses a phrase in his translation of Matthew 11:28-30 that is one of my favorites. Jesus’ invitation comes out this way:
Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.
Unforced rhythms of grace.
Quietly meditating on this phrase, the word pace bubbled up.
I tend to live my life at one of two paces: frenetic or sloth. I’m either going 90mph or not going at all. And typically, I end up having to go the speed of light because I’ve spent too much time ambling along. And I’m sure that may come as a surprise to those who only think I’m the blur rushing by them—I’m a very private turtle.
This dichotomy of pace has resulted in being labeled a procrastinator. I find that to be such a pejorative term. I just work best with a deadline.
There was a time when I was not considered for a position because I owned how “organization” is not one of my natural strengths. I can do organization—I just have to focus and be intentional. I can make charts and checklists. I know the value of a calendar (and looking at it). I also know how to put reminder alerts in my phone.
In Meyers-Briggs language, I’m a very strong P: I fly by the seat of my pants and my sock draw would drive most people crazy—it does me at times.
So am I going to remain a slave to my personality and wiring? Only if I want to.
The invitation of Jesus quoted above overflows with hope: Learn. I can be taught. I can overcome. I do not have to stay the same.
And neither do you.
Let’s look to him and learn a new pace. A new rhythm of living. A rhythm of grace.