by | Jun 29, 2023 | Leadership, Ministry Leader, Pastor, Rest, Rhythms, Sabbath


I have been a Christian for over four decades.

As I reflect on all the years of God’s mercy, grace, goodness, faithfulness, etc. it’s hard to put into words how grateful I am. Life with Jesus is an incredible journey.

It’s amazing to me that the Bible never gets boring, stale, or old. I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking on Genesis chapters 1 and 2 and finding myself freshly amazed by the timeless principles we observe there:

  • It is not good for the man to be alone. Adam lived in perfection and still he needed another human to do life with.
  • Leaving and cleaving.
  • Boundaries (The tree of the knowledge of good and evil)


But in today’s post I’d like us to consider another timeless principle located in these first two chapters of Genesis—Rhythms of the Garden. I observe at least three Garden of Eden rhythms:


Daily Rhythm

In the unfolding of the creation process, we see this rhythm: A creative burst of energy followed by a pause. God did this six times . . . for emphasis perhaps! To drive home the following points:

  • Our daily work needs hard edges – Michael Hyatt. Many leaders don’t do well without prescribed starting and stopping points for our day.
  • Our daily work needs a finish line. A line where we pivot from our professional life to our personal life.
  • All work and no play make us dull, anxious, and actually less productive. And . . . of not much use to our family.


Sabbath Rhythm

In the Garden story, we observe that God created Adam and Eve on the sixth day, and then He rested. The text tells us God blessed the seventh day and made it holy . . . or separate. Day Seven was different from Days One through Six. We Christians call this rhythm Sabbath.

This rhythm was so important that it made it into the top ten commandments.

Funny isn’t it how we wouldn’t think about violating the other nine commandments or even if we did disobey them, there would be swift repentance. But somehow, we give ourselves a pass on commandment number four. “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.” By keeping it separate; by keeping it different than the other six days in our week.


The Overarching Garden Rhythm

Not only did God rest on the seventh day—so did Adam and Eve. Genesis 2:15: “The Lord God took man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” Their work started after the Sabbath rhythm.

Now . . .  I have really wrestled with this third Garden rhythm. Working from rest postulates the following: we don’t work so we can rest . . . we rest so we can work. But my experience is more often this: I get to the end of a full week and Sabbath day appears just in time to help me refuel, recharge, and sometimes even recover from the previous days of work. So what comes first? Rest . . .  and then work? Or work . . . and then rest? Chicken or egg?

I’m wondering if it’s possible this overarching rhythm means that work and rest are synergists. That we need both to be healthy. Laziness will send your life into the ditch. Workaholism will send your life into the ditch.

So, while I continue to struggle getting my mind fully around this third rhythm—what matters the most to me is we have a healthy dose of both. That we work hard and smart. And that we work hard and smart at resting.


Why should you care about understanding and establishing Garden Rhythms? My guess is your work will be more fruitful. You will be able to stay in the game longer. And I think you will regularly remember that your work and ministry belong to God, not to you. And you may even have more fun along the way!


Cheering for you,