Week One Devotional
By Avery Michaels
I’m a chronic over-packer.
In high school, I had the opportunity to go on a short-term mission trip to Europe. I packed the largest of my suitcases, ensuring I had enough clothes and supplies for anything I might encounter. The airline had a 50 pound limit for checked bags, which deeply distressed my overpacking DNA. My bag was around 47 pounds when all was said and shoved in there.
I was proud of myself for fitting everything I thought I needed while also staying under the limit. I wanted to be ready for anything. To be prepared.
What I didn’t prepare for, however? Lugging a 47 pound suitcase across Europe.
I knew that what I packed might be more than what I would need, but it felt responsible to fill it to the brim.
No one told me that what I packed might be more than I could carry.
(For the record, no one told me that Central Europe is not ripe with elevators, either.)
I hauled that stupid blue suitcase up and down flights of stairs in metro stations, up to the fifth floor of the building we stayed in for music camp, and into multiple host homes. I resented that suitcase by the time it touched down in the USA 16 days later.
The following Summer, I was determined to not make the same mistake. My second year suitcase was under 25lbs. I ruthlessly edited my packing list. I packed only the things I could carry. That summer was different.
I zipped up and down stairs with the smallest of my suitcases, anticipating the next destination, dwelling on the possibilities of what it could present rather than the dread of what it would take to get there.
Does your life ever feel like you’re lugging around an invisible 47 pound suitcase?
If you’re emotionally or mentally weary from an overpacked life, the thought of being handed a list of spiritual practices probably sounds like an airline fee you don’t want to pay. I get it.
But if true rest, healing from your hurry, and abundant life as a disciple of Jesus are what you seek, Jesus invites you to lay down your 47 pound suitcase of an agenda and, “Come to me, all you who are weary and heavy-laden. I will give you rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11).
Unhurried Rhythms: What to Expect
For the next eight weeks, we’re walking through everyday rhythms to help you live an unhurried life in the Way of Jesus. Instead of adding eight new things to your calendar, we’ll provide inspiration for how to create margin and integrate spiritual rhythms throughout your day.
There is no shortcut to spiritual maturity, but we hope to remove the stumbling blocks of shame and intimidation from practicing spiritual rhythms.
This series is intended to be simple, shame-free, and approachable for anyone. For the weary, the longtime disciple, and even the “I’m doing fine, thanks”. Whether you’re established in your spiritual rhythms or you’re just starting out, this series hopes to offer you a new mindset towards spiritual practices that will help you mature into a fully-formed disciple of Jesus.
Each week, you’ll be invited to participate in:
- Reading a reflection on a spiritual rhythm that Christians have engaged with for centuries to practice being with God.
- A few questions for reflection
- An idea to practice that rhythm for the week
If you commit to creating Unhurried Rhythms in your life, it’s my prayer that you’ll live unburdened by burnout and flourish in your walk along the Way of Jesus.