Some people think that Christianity is a matter of being good all the time. They try to focus their thoughts upon God, the Bible and prayer. Some even retire into a forsaken corner of the world to concentrate on Godliness. Others find themselves feeling guilty because they are not able to keep themselves focused. For a few people, there’s nothing wrong in becoming a meditative mystic. But realistically, most of us have other things to do. There’s no reason to feel guilty about that. The universe moves in rhythms. The wind gusts, the waters move in waves and tides, the seasons rotate, day and night alternate, the lungs expand and contract, the heart pumps, we sleep and awaken, we eat and digest and so on. Even the intangibles fluctuate. Fashions come and go. Business teeters between prosperity and panic. In love or patriotism, our passions rise and fall. Where we often get ourselves in trouble is when we forget what Solomon knew: ‘For everything there is a season, a time for everything under the sun.’ There is a proper time for parents to become involved with their children. There is a time for them to be separate for the sake of themselves and the kids. Sometimes a wife needs a night out. And sometimes she needs a night out with her husband. Once in a while, she may need a vacation, not with him but from him. A great danger in a marriage occurs when one or the other will not let their spouse out of their sight. How are we to discover how much we miss one another unless we invest in some time apart’ In matters of the soul, I’ve found that I often do better when I don’t force myself toward God. The drivenness of the effort ruins the effectiveness. In fact, I’ve probably grown more during times of fear, doubt, and faithlessness than at other times. By being honest with God about my thoughts and feelings, I’ve learned from firsthand experience that He forgives, cares, understands, loves, knows, is involved and that I need Him. I’m not advocating that we all abandon God in order to find Him, but I’m also not convinced that feeling guilty because of life’s interferences helps us find Him either. For me, at least, learning to live with the rhythms works. There are just going to be times when God is real and times when He seems totally absent. There are times when I’m strong in the Lord and when my candle flickers. There are times when I’m energetic and enthused about assisting God, and times when I’m not even thinking along those lines. And that’s okay. Both sides of the rhythms are needed. Everything does work together for those who love the Lord. Just don’t get stuck on one side or the other. For growth is defined in learning more about the rhythms than it is in being on just one side.