I usually have a playlist to listen to when I am exercising on the elliptical machine. The rhythm of the music keeps me moving in the right direction of accomplishing my task of burning those calories and strengthening those muscles. Oh sure, I could do the exercise without the music, but it’s the rhythm of the music that motivates me to get exercising and to keep it up.
There is a new rhythm to life that occurs when the school year starts, when the air begins to cool, when summer wanes, and our evenings darken earlier. Fall brings football, music and band lessons. Clubs that haven’t met for the summer are starting to pick up momentum again. This week church school, adult learning, and affirmation of baptism classes begin. It’s the time of the year for making choices and setting priorities for the fall and winter months. It’s the time to set the rhythm for the next nine months.
Luke shares wisdom that is helpful to all of us as we set our priorities and select the rhythm for our lives by sharing Jesus’ frank words about discipleship. In Luke 14:25-33 Jesus urges us to count the cost of following Jesus. It’s a path that involves giving up what’s not important, it’s about sacrifice, and it’s about serving others. It’s the road less traveled when the norm is not to be involved in a faith community. Count the cost when meetings interrupt your sabbath time, when commitments take you away from worship. Count the cost. Following Jesus is following a God who is love and humility. We learn about loving Jesus and each other in worship. We learn about God’s love and humility in church school and adult learning. We learn how people of faith can make a difference in the world. None of us have discipleship all figured out. We learn about serving others in a variety of ministries with which we have a relationship with others.
We all struggle with priorities. This fall I urge you to consider making Jesus a priority. Let Jesus set the rhythm in your life, and your family’s life and see how that rhythm works for you. Granted there will be a cost, but it will bring real life. We can say “yes” or “no” to being disciples. Moses urges the Israelites who are about to enter the promised land to choose life by loving the Lord, obeying God and holding fast to God. Those who choose life, choose God. Those who choose to follow Idols, as Moses claims are destined to “A life of death and adversity”. We have an abundance of idols in this world. Idols are really anything that we place above God.
I commend you to pray about the rhythm that brings life to you and your family and live life accordingly. Count the cost of what will bring life.
Grace and Peace to you my sisters and brothers as you discern the rhythm of your life and the cost of whatever you follow.
In Christ, Pastor Pam Schroeder