Recorded Rhythms of Grace

English: The rhythm on the TUBS page, in tradi...

While living overseas there were many times when I listened to scripture read in a language where I had minimal understanding. It was always a good exercise – scripture that was familiar to me in English became new and fresh, affecting me in ways I couldn’t anticipate.

It was this that I remembered as I recently read the words to Matthew 11, verses 28 to 30 in The Message. I don’t traditionally read The Message, a paraphrased version of the Bible, but as I heard these verses it was like hearing them in a language I was unfamiliar with, a language that I had to pay attention to and think about, a language that offered me the familiar in a dramatically different way.

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

And that was it – I was tired and burned out, I needed to recover my life, I needed to watch how Jesus did it. I needed to find out what the “unforced rhythms of grace” were and what living this way looked like. My life had become a cliché of do’s and don’ts; must do’s and should do’s; regrets and wishful thinking.

Unforced Rhythms of Grace – How can I discover them? I want my senses to be alive to the rhythms of grace. How could I begin? Perhaps beginning was as simple as beginning to record grace in action. When we record, we remember. That’s what One Thousand Gifts is all about.

So I began.  Here are a few of my recent unforced rhythms of grace, recorded so I’ll remember:

  • Waiting at the subway station and having a guitar player strum “How Great Thou Art” with skilled hands
  • Hearing that my son has found a job
  • Curling up in a warm house with fresh-baked oatmeal bread, blackberry jam spread over it, reading
  • Learning to read words of truth, not to dissect or study, but to soak in and remember….

And this is just the beginning.

How do you learn the unforced rhythms of grace? Would love to hear in the comment section.

10 thoughts on “Recorded Rhythms of Grace

  1. -A shooting star as related to me by my husband…
    -Sun filtering through the dogwood tree casting light on the ground covered in blossoms from the tree…
    -Seeing the light go on in my son’s face when he finally got inspiration after he had been struggling with a paper all day long…
    -Running errands…

    Thanks again, Marilyn!


  2. My neighbours plated up a Sunday lunch for me to have later as I felt so rotten.
    A friend rang to say she was making a batch of pancakes for me to freeze – she is 85!
    My lovely grandson called from Australia – this happens regularly. He has read the book I sent him and found it helpful!
    That’s all on one day!!


  3. This post was like a breath of fresh air – so refreshing! Thanks for the encouragement. I heard some of those unforced rhythms of grace this past week, as I stopped and saw God’s goodness following me everywhere I went. Pursuing me! I saw it through a innocent child, laughing. A wonderfully pink flower in a vase in someone’s window. A song. A bird that hopped into the street and sang the most beautiful music. Thanks for the refreshing post!


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