God has masterfully designed rhythms for all of life. A quick flip through Genesis’ initial chapters unearths the flow of rest and activity for life in concert with our Creator. Genesis offers practical insight for synchronizing one’s daily pulse with the One who originated the beginning, with the rhythm of His own voice, declaring, “Let there be light!”
In Eden, God established rhythms for worship, work, relationship, and rest. Through His example and the picture of Adam and Eve’s interactions with Him and one another, Creation’s templates serve us, so that we can serve our King and His Kingdom well.
Book of Beginnings
Genesis is the book of beginnings. It introduces the multi-layered story of scripture and details the origins of humanity. The historically rich word invites us to trace our Father’s patterns that energize the momentum of our lives.
The Cost of Disruption
When we reach beyond the boundaries God has established for life rhythms, we tax ourselves with stressors and responsibilities that aren’t ours to bear. We incur emotional expense and physical damage when we invest resources that only yield a toxic return. We don’t realize the essential nature of these rhythms until weakened boundaries and elevated stress levels leave us disjointed and imbalanced, often through health, relational, or life crises.
Although impossible to avoid the challenges that confront all of humanity, some crises can be circumvented by integrating the rhythms of proper rest, fulfilling worship, purposeful work, and meaningful relationships into our lives. Inevitable transitions disrupt life’s rhythms, but we can rebound. A therapist can help us to achieve the right balance between God and our relational community by helping us to renew practices that promote resilience: in spirit, soul, and body.
This article will highlight God’s rhythms of rest, worship, work, and relationship. Together, we will explore Genesis’ applications of these rhythms to guide us with managing boundaries and stress, while maximizing holistic wellness.
Rhythm of Work
God Himself demonstrated the rhythm of meaningful work. In five days, He spoke into existence the heavens and earth, seas and land, habitats, and animals to fill them. Before creating man on the sixth, He first designed a place for man’s dwelling and a purpose for his dominion (Genesis 2:15).
We, too, were created to engage in meaningful work to connect the daily with the Divine. Each of us, in passion and purpose, is as unique as the prints that tattoo our fingertips. We were created both in and for the era into which we were born. In Christ, we receive grace to present ourselves and our gifts back to the Giver.
There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens. – Ecclesiastes 3:1
“And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” – Esther 4:14 (select portion)
While meaningful work may not always harmonize with one’s career, our God-given purpose is more than occupational. Living with purpose enables us to navigate chronic stress. It produces contentment, peace, and joy because we are awakened to our destiny, actively becoming the version of ourselves that God had always imagined.
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. – Ephesians 2:10
Rhythm of Relationship
God demonstrated the rhythm of relationship when he consulted with Himself to create man. On the sixth day, he formed an image-bearer from the dust of the same earth He had just spoken into being. Then, He breathed life into him, equipping and authorizing him to be like his Father, in every way (Genesis 2:7).
Then God said, “Let Us make mankind in Our image, according to Our likeness…” – Genesis 1:26a
Created for Connection
He extended this rhythm into Adam and Eve’s union, as God made her an answer to a need Adam didn’t know he had. God emphasized that it wasn’t good for the first man to remain alone. God created all relationships, not just marriage, to model how community and connection usher in the experience of Heaven’s harmony in the earth.
We see this in Ephesians 4:15-16:
- how He abides in community with Himself: as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
- how He longs to mutually dwell in His kingdom children.
- how we are to flow as members of Christ’s one body.
As humans, we often fail to communicate about boundaries, or else we cross them, which weakens our relational bonds. Communication skills are essential to relational success and satisfaction. Direct and assertive communication can be learned and developed for the rhythm of the relationship to thrive.
Rhythm of Worship
God and Adam communed in the cool of the day. God used his voice to search for His errant children when Adam and Eve hid themselves (Genesis 3:7-10). God had instituted a rhythm for communication, in which Adam personally walked with and worshipped Him through ongoing communion. God lavished His love on Adam. He entrusted him with the world, his wife, the animals, and Eden.
Doesn’t the Father want the same for and with us? Going forward in our godly identity, authority, equipping, and assignment is as much available to us now, in Christ, as it was to Adam and Eve at the beginning of time.
Yet, sin violated the boundary God set, which added stress into their relationship and slithered trouble into their bloodline. Sin’s consequence led to the death of fellowship and the favor they once freely enjoyed with God. It does the same with us today if we don’t subdue it (Genesis 3:23-24, 4:7).
For the wages of sin is death, but the gracious gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 6:23
The barrier of sin no longer separates us from the Father once we accept the gift of the Second Adam, the Only Begotten Son Jesus as propitiation and payment for Adam and Eve’s Garden transgressions. The Holy Spirit empowers us to be fruitful, multiply, replenish, subdue, and take dominion in the earth, as we were created to do (Genesis 1:28).
The rhythm of worship flourishes when integrated with other rhythms, including relationships. Worship savors intimacy with God through prayer, communion in His Word, fellowship with other believers. The rhythm of worship refocuses perspective on Christ, snapping the restrictive cords of stress. Worship fosters confidence for boldness and faithfulness to nurture our own gardens’ boundaries and joyfully walk in purpose.
Rhythm of Rest
Let’s borrow this insightful perspective from author and pastor, Levi Lusko. God created man on day six; and on day seven, his first job was to rest. Why? God had taken the “work” out of Adam’s work.
Again, God modeled another rhythm. He rested on the last day of creation’s week, not from exhaustion, but because He was finished. He testified that His creation was “very good.” He approved of His handiwork and sealed it with a sabbath.
Our Creator knows us best, as He formed us in image and likeness. While we may not fully understand His ways, the Word highlights nuances of His character. God’s rhythms become ours as we synchronize with the Living Word, recognizing our times, and related rhythms, are in His hands.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. – Isaiah 55:8
My times are in your hands; deliver me from the hands of my enemies, from those who pursue me. – Psalms 31:15
Although eternal, He set creation to observe pace through sunsets and sunrises. A hamster wheel, “rise and grind” mentality has filtered its way into many busy, though not entirely productive, lives. When we cram our days and nights full of activity, without balanced time and attention, our physical bodies and inner beings suffer spiritually, mentally, and emotionally.
Active and Passive Rest
The work of Jesus Christ is finished in rest; and according to freeletics.com, we need two types of rest. Active rest encompasses low-intensity, energizing movements that build the body and stretch the mind. We also require passive rest, which encompasses quantity and quality of sleep as well as nutrition necessary for healthy function.
Both active and passive rest maximize and manage the abundance God has availed to us. They call for us to reset the way we think about and practically engage in our current rhythmic patterns that may be stifling and stressing instead of serving us.
New Rhythms, Next Steps
We have wandered through the Garden with God and gleaned rich treasure in Genesis. Activating and integrating these rhythms of rest, worship, work, and relationship can support:
- redefining and redrawing healthy boundaries,
- navigating stress, and
- balancing holistic wellness.
When we acknowledge and embrace the rhythms our Creator has designed to enrich our lives, we are better positioned to fulfil kingdom destiny, in partnership with God and each other. The first step may seem daunting, but the support of our therapeutic staff will encourage you with what has always been possible. Take courage and call us today. Change can happen!
Photo credit: Marianne Sicilia, Copyright 2022, All Rights Reserved