I have stated that my purpose here at Their Courses Above is to provide tools and inspiration for rhythmic living.
But what does that mean, exactly? The themes I’m exploring on this blog intersect with simplicity, and minimalism, and living with purpose—so why did I choose the phrase ‘rhythmic living’?
What, even, is a rhythm?
“A strong, regular, repeated pattern of movement or sound,” according to Google. And also, “a regularly recurring sequence of events, actions, or processes.”
A space can be minimal, or not, at any given moment. A choice can be made with purpose, once. But a rhythm can only happen repeatedly—it only exists stretched over the frame of hours, days, weeks, or years.
In other words, a rhythm takes place in time.
And that is what drew me to the idea, because this is my struggle, and maybe yours: placing myself in time.
That may sound silly; aren’t we all already “placed” in time by our creator? Of course. Yes, we are all already “in” time—but that doesn’t mean we live as if we are.
We find many ways to live as if time had no claim on us.
In my own life, one stubborn way has been my disdain for results that are not immediate: Once I envision how I want something to be, I want it to just be that way. I don’t want to learn how to do something, I want to already know it.
We also deny our place in time when we hang on to seasons of our life that are past as if we were still in them, or when we fixate on the future and our hopes or fears for it.
Even something like being habitually late reveals our unwillingness to acknowledge that there is an actual amount of time it takes us to get ready.
So why do we do this? Why do we try to live as if we’re not time-bound creatures?
Because placing yourself in time is painful.
When you place yourself rightly in time, you have to face the fact that your time is limited—You will not say unlimited words, walk unlimited steps, spend unlimited hours with your family, in this life.
Sometimes that hurt digs as deep as death, and sometimes it just stings like a day, week, or year you fear was wasted.
Yes, placing ourselves in time is painful. But it is essential if we desire to live authentic lives, to live in truth. Our only other option is to live in denial—to be fettered, hindered, for our whole lives.
When we strive to embrace the truth of the timeline God has written for us, it frees us up to see the deep beauty of our daily, weekly, yearly “limitations”—our need to sleep, to eat, to pause, to learn things over again that we thought we already knew, to be rocked by grief and then find our way back into joy.
These rhythms are not getting in the way of the wonderful life we could be living—they are the wonderful life we’ve been given.
This truth is hard to hold on to. That’s why I need to write about it—somewhat for you, mostly for me, but very much so we can remind each other as we navigate this rhythmic life.