A Fall (Life) Rhythm

Rhythm.  We need a good rhythm to do life well.  We are all going to be very busy this fall, and if we don't have some solid grounding points, we could get over stressed and over worked, and neglect the most important things in life.

I was sitting in a crowd, and the speaker says, "We all live busy lives, we live in a world that someway thinks one can give 100% to everything, but that is simply mathematically impossible.  The question is never 'should I cut corners?'.  The question is always, 'which corners should I cut and when?'."  Not really the first words one expects to hear out of  Professor and pastor.  Then he goes on to say, "...and I would suggest one starts cutting corners in the area of school and/or work."  Whoa!  I think sometimes we all need permission to do that.  We need permission to take the 'B' over the 'A' (or in my case take the 'C' over the 'B') on a paper so that we do not neglect that which truly matters.  We need permission to sometimes say "no" to work so that our family, friends, and loved ones are not neglected.    As a church planter, pastor, father of four school kids, husband, member of three boards, student, and non-profit employee, this was like a fresh glass of cold water on a very hot day.  

But if you know me, theory is not enough, I immediately went to function.  How does this play out in the real world?  Here's the deal with life, if we don't plan it, it will happen to us, and usually, when we allow things to just happen it poorly effects those we love and the most vital parts of ourselves, which are the very parts that should be protected.  So for us the grounding points that everything else will be ordered around (or sometimes swirl around) are spirit, body, and soul.

  • Spirit - To be transparent, at no less than three points in the last 24 months, I told the people closest to me, "I think I may need to leave the church in order to go find Jesus again."  Ouch, that's not a good place for a pastor to be.  My spirit was dry, very dry, it hurt.  My family needs a commitment to feeding our spirits - not randomly, not whenever we feel like it, but daily, it needs to be a grounding point for us, a non-negotiable.  We do this through four main arenas: scripture, prayer, meditation, and some sort of devotional (Kempis, Peterson, Lewis, Tozer, etc...).  Others do this very differently, which is great! But however one does this, if we don't figure out a way to have grounding moments on a daily basis, our life won't be a beautiful song, but the rhythm will be off and internally we will be an obnoxious noise.
  • Body - Healthy Body is a must, it is the only vehicle we have to live out my goals, desires, and dreams.  This is not just about fitness, this is about taking time to relax, to still ourselves, seasonal times of detox and cleansing, etc.  But, f you know the Hansens, it certainly includes fitness.  Throughout the week we all have different physical outlets that take the shape of some sort of fitness, but as a family on Saturday morning, we began to institute our morning Yoga session to kick off the day.  We gather together to do a 30 minute yoga session and then a 10-15 minute mobility session, then it is time to play!  Those who know me know, that if my body is not in healthy alignment then I am a mess...for me, "body" is absolutely another grounding point that that keeps the rhythm healthy, thus another point where everything else swirls or is ordered around
  • Soul - Sarah and I love to work, we just do, we will do this naturally, we want to "get things done" we want to "accomplish", so we don't really have to plan for that.  However unless we do plan, we will neglect the soul, we do't make much room for recovery.  We have to put soul time - which for us is often play time - on our calendar or we won't do it. The idea of committing to 'soul' is committing to rhythms that bring refreshment and recovery to our personhood, life and family.  This will include adventurous outings, movies, reading books that are completely unrelated to any of our work (just because we like to), playing, walks and bike rides down on the board walk, etc...

You'll notice "mind" was not a grounding point, but much of my work is committed to developing my mind.  However my job is not physical at all, so I have to make time for a healthy body.  Your list may look different than ours, and that's okay, but we all need grounding points.  We should schedule these grounding points so they aren't neglected.  These grounding points should bring shape, health, and recovery to our spirit, body, mind, and souls.  Because of these grounding points we should be better at and more efficient at the 'have-to's' in life... I've noticed when I ground myself around soul, spirit, and body then my work is better, my creativity is higher, and those around me feel more loved.  As opposed to the thought that I need to give the intangibles my left-over so I can commit to being a workaholic and be a production machine.

I'd love to know the rhythm and grounding points for you fall semester!