For those caught up in the busyness of work, family, and church, it often feels like time with God is just another thing on a crowded “to-do’ list.
Ken Shigematsu worked for the Sony Corporation in Tokyo, Japan. His intense work schedule led him to explore personal disciplines that could bring order to his life. He discovered those principles on a tour of Ireland’s monasteries. The rhythm of life lived by Irish monks freed them to worship God, serve their communities and live healthy. They were busy but blessed.
I had the pleasure of meeting Ken recently. His discoveries are summed up in the book, “God in My Everything: How An Ancient Rhythm Helps Busy People.”
4 Sound Ways to Improve the Rhythm of Your Life
1. Set your life free by adhering to “rules of life.”
A “rule of life” is not a legislated way of living but the means to a more fruitful life. Rules of life are not “have to’s;” they are “get to’s.” A “rule of life” is a way to connect God to every part of your life everyday.
The path to greatness, whether pursued consciously or unconsciously, is one that requires a rhythm of disciplined practice.
Pick one rule of life that connects you with God and nourishes your soul. When your life is awakened to God the world becomes your monastery.
Our fellowship of churches promotes the following rules of life:
One of my one rules of life has been to listen for God and speak to God before connecting with anyone else at the beginning of my day.
2. Self-care is never a selfish act.
Self-care is the wise stewardship of the only gift you have to give the world – your life.
Caring for your physical, emotional, intellectual, social and spiritual needs is your smartest daily choice.
For instance, taking 24 hours of rest from your routine each week is smart and spiritual. Choosing to work 7/11/7 works well only for convenience stores. Resting for 52 days of the year can add 11 years to the life of men and 9 years to the lives of women.
Taking a “sabbath” can heal you from a compulsion to measure yourself by what you accomplish, who you know, and the influence you have.
When you regularly pause from your ambitions and activities, you create space to experience God.
Less is more in the long run.
This is first in my list of lessons because its one I need to learn and apply.
3. Whatever makes you feel fully alive over time is
God made you to enjoy life. Whatever is not immoral, illegal or exorbitantly expensive can energize your life to the glory of God.
Your play is not something separate from your spirituality; it is itself a sign of the presence of God in your world.
What are you doing when you’re fully alive?
4. A life of beauty and mystery is
exceptional and attractive.
Daniel was a Middle Eastern exile, guiding a Babylonian nation using principles of the Jewish Scriptures.
He lived a rhythm of life that saw him praying three times a day, everyday, for decades. His rule of life set him free, made him fruitful and blessed those who had confidence in him.
When Daniel’s political enemies tried to explain his success they were left with an unexplainable mystery. Daniel shouldn’t have achieved the results he did. His success was a mystery. Their only recourse was to say “the spirit of the gods reside in him.”
QUESTION: What “rule of life” has served you well? What rule of life do you need to adopt?