I usually love my group exercise class. The strength training routine is choreographed to ten tracks of music and almost makes working out fun.
But in yesterday’s class, worry and a growing to-do list distracted me. I tried to follow the instructor, but I wasn’t fully present. As my thoughts wandered, I’d find myself off-beat. Instead of syncing with the music, I mirrored the rhythm of a guy in my peripheral vision. He continually “jumped the gun” and stayed two counts ahead of the music.
I’d resolve to block him out and focus on the instructor. Then the process would happen all over again as my mind followed its thin stream of worry.
Later, I recalled other examples of my environment determining my rhythm. For instance, when I commuted an hour to and from work, I’d find myself matching the speed of other drivers on the interstate. And I used to let the frantic pace of Christmas shoppers affect my tempo.
Mirroring the rhythms of our environment is a natural phenomenon. The Theory of Entrainment says rhythmic beings close to each other will gradually sync their movements. Crickets chirp in harmony and fireflies flash in unison. Even clocks with swinging pendulums hanging on the same wall eventually sync up.
Aligning ourselves with our surroundings isn’t always a bad thing. My Fitbit shows a lower resting heart rate when I’m at the beach. Why? The consistent sound of ocean waves alters brainwave patterns and induces a restful state. Researchers say that simply gazing at a body of water calms us. Pausing to watch a sunset slows our inner rhythm.
Because most of us can’t be at the beach all the time or live alone in a forest, we’re often surrounded by an excess of noise pollution and stressed-out individuals. But we can call timeouts to rest in God’s presence.
In Psalm 46:10 (NLT), God cautions us to:
Be still, and know that I am God!
God’s rhythm is one of rest and stillness. When we block extraneous stimuli, we clear space for our Creator and hear Him more clearly.God’s rhythm is one of rest and stillness. When we block extraneous stimuli, we clear space for our Creator and hear Him more clearly. #resting #christianliving #devotion Click To Tweet
I struggled in exercise class because I didn’t keep my focus on the instructor. Likewise, when I don’t keep my gaze on Jesus, I fall into the world’s trap of frenzied living. What if, instead of dragging my burdens to class, I had talked to God first and left my worries with Him? When we move toward God, He moves toward us.
God’s presence is always available to us, but we have to seek it. When we feel ourselves mirroring a stressful pace, the briefest of pauses help calm and sync us to God’s rhythm.
Ten Ways to Rest in God’s Presence
- Say a prayer.
- Listen to music.
- Play an ocean sound track.
- Sip tea.
- Sit in a pretty spot outdoors.
- Listen to the birds or other sounds of nature.
- Attend a sunset or sunrise.
- Gaze upon water.
- Take a leisurely walk.
- Breathe slowly and deeply.
Which appeal to you and what would you add to the list?When we feel ourselves mirroring a stressful pace, the briefest of pauses help calm and sync us to God’s rhythm. #resting #devotion #christianliving Click To Tweet