Rhythms of the Heart
I’ve been making sourdough for about two years now, and what I’ve learned is I’m still learning. There’s a formula, but inside the formula is a rhythm. Some days it goes perfectly, like the bread and I are in sync. Some days I'm not sure what went wrong, but it's not quite right.
I think it will rise like it did last time, and sometimes it just takes longer. Sometimes it needs more rest, sometimes it needs more stretching. I don’t think it's ever exactly the same. You just learn the dough. It almost has a personality. it doesn't like the cold...so it's much like me.
And now we’re also talking about my life and not the bread. God doesn’t always speak to me exactly the same as he did last time, things don’t always work the way that I expect that they will. There's a formula, but inside the formula is a rhythm.
Sourdough is a living changing thing. Just like my faith. What it really takes is me paying attention. It takes practice. It takes knowing my starter and the feel of the dough. There is measuring that has to be done and steps to take each time I make bread, and then there is time. Lots of time where is feels like nothing is really happening. You can do the exact same steps but not always get the exact same outcome. I'm learning to feel the dough.
It always amazes me how God has laid out huge theological truths in every day pictures for us to see. In every mundane and repetitive thing there is a pattern. The earth orbits around the sun, day follows night, they sync in the rhythm of God's call. Sin throws us out of sync. We start to keep beat to the rhythm of our own drum. The more I practice confession the more easily I fall back in sync with God's will.
The pattern of faith is confession and repentance which leads to refreshing and renewing and this repeats over and over. We sadly miss the refreshing when we leave out repentance.
"Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago. " Acts 3:19-21
God's idea for repentance is that we be refreshed with His presence, not feel guilty and full of shame. Jesus has already paid for all of our sin. God wants us to walk in that forgiveness. True repentance means that we are sorry not for perpetual sorrow, but it is motivation for our turning from our sin and back to God.
As I tackle every day, God works a little more on my sanctification in the process of the ordinary things. That is where the miracles really happen. Practice and repetition are the fibers that God weaves into a life. It's not glamorous, but it's real.
Try practicing this pattern during your week. Start by asking God to show you anything you need to confess. Own it and ask for refreshing and God's spirit to fill the spot you emptied out. Do it again, then again, then again. It will take the dread our of confession when you start to see it the way God intended it.
Practice is refining. There is a formula, but inside the formula there is a rhythm. Here's to finding our rhythm this week so that we can dance with God in our everyday life.