Grace Pace

Dear One,

The heart of my sweet and strong Mama went into A-fib (Atrial fibrillation) this past week which means it had an erratic rhythm. When this happens, her heart’s two upper chambers beat chaotically and irregularly — out of sync with the lower ones. It’s quite an exhausting ordeal.

As I was praying for Mom I began to think about the erratic and irregular rhythms we’ve all experienced in the past year.

So much out-of-sync chaos. Everything thrown off:

  • Work rhythms
  • School rhythms
  • Sleep rhythms
  • Family life rhythms
  • Worship rhythms

And friend, all of the above external rhythms impact our internal ones. Are you feeling it? The emotional dysregulation?  Up, down, and all around?

Enter a pacemaker.

I learned that A-fib sometimes requires one. One website informed me that a pacemaker “listens to your heart.”If it senses your heart is beating too slowly or too quickly, it sends electrical impulses that prompt it to beat at a normal, sustainable pace.

Brilliant!! When everything is thrown into off-kilter chaos, the way of return is by listening to your heart. Who knew?!

I have a beautiful friend who talks about moving at the speed of soul. That sounds like a pace we might all benefit from right now. A grace-pace, determined by listening to our hearts. Yes, please.

All of this has me thinking about Jacob & Esau, two long-estranged brothers who met to make peace.

After making peace, they talked pace. Esau offered to lead, but Jacob spoke up to say he had frail children who needed gentle care, and animals that were nursing their young.

“If they are driven hard just one day, all the animals will die,” Jacob said.  
“[You] go on ahead … while I move along slowly at the pace of the flocks and herds before me and the pace of the children.”
(Genesis 33:12-13)

Jacob was paying attention – he was aware of extenuating circumstances and adjusted the pace to meet them. Mindful of the weak and weary parts, he chose a grace-pace instead of driving too hard. 

What a beautiful way to lead ourselves and others. 

I’d like a grace-pacemaker installed in my heart, helping me to listen, alerting me to when I’m off-kilter and returning me to that which is sustainable for life.  

And lucky for me, I actually have one. His name is Jesus and his Spirit just so happens to live in this sometimes tired, overwhelmed, erratic heart of mine. 

“Are you tired?” Jesus asks, “Worn out?” …
“Walk with me and work with me … Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.” 
(Matthew 11:28-30 Message)

Jesus is my pacemaker.
Ha! I think maybe I should make a bumper sticker with that slogan😉.

Grace-Pace: Our Little Life Words of the week. 

———————
DEEPER DIVE
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Ponder:

  • How do you return to a grace-pace when you’ve gotten out of rhythm due to the chaos of life?
  • In what ways has the outer chaos of the past year thrown off your inner pace (and peace)?
  • In what ways might you need to alter your pace to care for frail & fragile parts (yours or those of others)?

Practice:

  • Do something (anything) slower than normal.
  • Take 5 minutes a day to be still. Place your hand over your heart and simply listen to it, like a good pacemaker would. What is it telling you?

Play

  • Our song of the week is: Feelin’ Groovy (Slow down, you move too fast) by Simon & Garfunkel. 

Pray:

  • Ask God to return your heart to rest (Psalm 116:7).
  • Ask Jesus to teach you the unforced rhythms of grace.

My Mom is taking steps to return her heart to a rhythm of rest. I pray you will be able to do the same.

Please take care.

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