As Anne Lamott puts it, “Expectations are resentments waiting to happen.”
We get this in our relationships with others, but we can also fall into this trap with our relationship with God.
We become bitter — not with God, but — with ourselves when life throws our relational rhythms with God off-kilter.
I found this out recently when life messed with my rule of life like a child flicking your ear while attempting to read.
Normal Rhythms with God
Spiritual disciplines are ultimately a way to create space to connect relationally with God.
A rule of life guides your desires for how you’ll prioritize abiding in the love, joy, and peace of Jesus.
It’s wise to create an ideal rule of life that sketches the outline of a beautiful life with God.
But we know that life often chews up and spits out ideals for breakfast, proclaiming, “Yum! May I have some more, please.”
When Normal Rhythms Disappear
Recently, I’ve been traveling more for my work with Steadfast Ministries, and our family has taken several trips as well.
My regular practices that cultivate a vibrant life with God have disappeared because I don’t have the time or energy to keep up with them.
As those practices disappear, my disappointment in myself has grown. Have you ever been there? You think:
Why can’t I be more disciplined?
I miss connecting with God the way I did. Why can’t I make this happen?
Will it ever be the same again?
Thankfully, a light bulb went off for me in my discouragement that changed everything — the light of compassion.
Compassion for Challenging Seasons
Does dominating your rule of life or dropping all the balls impact Jesus’ love for you?
Of course, we don’t think this is true, but it’s so easy to feel weightiness over our lack of discipline. The reality is that sometimes life keeps us from doing everything we want, which is okay.
Jesus loves us still and is patiently waiting for us.
Here’s my practical suggestion:
Create an ideal rule of life for when life goes as planned. Press into connecting with God in peace times.
Create a paired-down rule of life for when life throws a curveball or two. Make this list by answering questions like these:
1. What are a few essential ways you feel connected to God now?
2. How can you abide in Jesus’ love amidst a busy season?
3. How can you plan to slow down later after this busy season ends?
Adjust Expectations - Avoid Addiction To Busyness
There’s nothing wrong with simplifying our practices in times of busyness to keep our relationship with God active.
However, we must be cautious in an age that idolizes productivity over presence. If we find that life never slows down, we need to ensure we’re not creating chaos.
There’s a time and a season for everything, friends. Let’s be wise in making sure we’re discerning the times and acting accordingly.
Do you need help with your relationship with God or navigating the chaos of life? Let me help.