Our relationship with time can re-energize us when we return to the rhythms of life that once brought us joy. Today’s episode illustrates the point.
I love living where I do because of the four distinct seasons of the year. Each one with its own unique joys and challenges. You know what I mean. Unless of course if you live in Barrow, Alaska or in Bangkok, Thailand.
I love the rhythm of having one foot in the current season, while the other anticipates the next one coming. I’ve always been a rhythm kind of guy.
Besides climate rhythms, there are calendar rhythms. You know what I mean, here too, unless of course you’re doing a life sentence at San Quentin or Leavenworth.
But lately I’ve been feeling out of rhythm. Do you ever feel that way? That whatever rhythm you’re in just doesn’t feel right? I’ve discovered this is a relationship issue. Our relationship with time.
Today’s episode is an example of one way to relate to time as our friend who whispers in our ear, “It’s time to get back into the rhythm you were wired with. Now’s the time to return to the timing of things that brought you the greatest amount of joy.”
So listen in and see how you can adapt what I’m going to do to transform my relationship with time to make it the best it can be.
Starting at about age 5, I spent the next the first 24 years of my life immersed in the rhythm of the academic school year. First as a student, then as a teacher. On the threshold of summer as my teaching year would come to a close, I would feel eager for the change, but at the same time a little depressed knowing my relationship with my students was coming to an end.
This cycle repeated itself for nearly 8 years before I left teaching for the business world. But even now, decades later, I can’t get this rhythm of stopping and starting out of my system. It’s part of who I am. Because as I said, I’m a rhythm kind of guy.
In particular, I’ve been fighting this rhythm thing with this podcast. My intent was to be consistent and timely with a fresh episode all 52 weeks of the year. That was the rhythm when I had my business. It came with the territory.
But I’m feeling the need to go back to my roots from my earliest days, and embrace that earlier rhythm that was so part of my life.
So here’s the change I’m making: I am going to do what some other podcasters do and that is move from a weekly podcast schedule, 52 weeks a year, to a seasonal schedule. Just like they do with television programs. And as done in schools and universities.
All this to say that this episode is the last one for what will be Season One of You Were Made for This. Season Two will begin in the fall on Wednesday, September 4th, two days after Labor Day when all the kids are back in school.
Moving forward, there’s two parts to this change in rhythm. The first part is what I’m going to do. The second part is what you can do.
While I won’t be putting out any more new episodes until September, I will be working on a number of other things to help make You Were Made for This sustainable into the future.
The purpose of this podcast remains to help people of faith, particularly missionaries, transform their relationships into the best they can be. I feel a calling to serve more people than I have been by giving them tools, ways of thinking, and and encouragement in one of life’s greatest blessings and challenges: Relationships.
Toward that end, I will be spending the next few months improving the infrastructure of the podcast, namely our web site and the size of our email list. I’ll be working to get the first 30 episodes of the podcast, Season One, out to many more people than receive it now. There are best practices in the podcasting world to do this that I’m looking forward to implementing in the days ahead.
I also plan to use this summer to begin putting together training materials for an online course on relationships that go into more depth than can be done in a podcast .
I am also eagerly looking forward to planning for Season Two of the podcast. This is what I loved about the rhythm of the school calendar when I was a teacher, thinking about the fall and how I could improve upon what I did the previous year. What new things could I try? What things could I do better in the coming year. For me, there was always an energy in planning ahead, and I feel that same energy about this podcast.
One example of something I plan to add to Season Two is more interviews with people about the relationship issues they face. I’ve already recorded one such interview that will air in the fall, and I plan to record more this summer.
Another thing I’m toying with is reviews of books about relationships. I’ve read several I’d really like to talk about because I think they would be helpful to people. So I plan to do more reading. And more thinking and reflecting. And more praying, asking God to show me what to share that would serve people the most in bearing His image well in their relationships.
So that’s a summary of how I’m going to spend my time this summer as it relates to You were Made for This.
And while you won’t be hearing any new podcast episodes from me until September, I do plan to stay in touch with you by way of a very brief emails on a weekly basis or so about relationship topics for you to think about.
Well enough about me. What about you? How can YOU benefit from this change in the rhythm of this podcast. I’ve got a few ideas for you.
If you are a fairly new listener, you’ll now have time to go back to the beginning when we launched on November 28, 2018 to listen to episodes you may have missed. It will help you feel caught up when we begin Season Two on September 4th. If you’ve been a regular since the beginning, you can review where we’ve come from in the content of the first 30 episodes of Season One.
And let me help you with that. First off, have you ever downloaded an episode, but not listened to it? You can do that, you know, and just READ the show notes for each episode. Some people prefer to read than to listen, and that’s perfectly fine.
As I reflect on these first 30 episodes, I notice several themes or components of the podcast you might want to give more thought to.
- To transform a relationship it’s up to us, not the other person or entity we are relating with. We have to assume that the only change that will take place will be because WE act. We initiate. Not the other person or entity.
The importance of them on several levels. Mentioned it in episode one from November 28, then again in several other episodes. Certainly in the interviews, but also in episodes 15, 22, 23, and 28.
- Good relationships take skill. It’s something we can learn if we want to. We covered the four levels of relationship skills in Episodes 11- 14.
- Unconsciously Unskilled
- Consciously Unskilled
- Consciously Skilled
- Unconsciously Skilled
- Ruth and Charley Shirley – episodes 8 and 9
- Hannah and Abby Barbeau – episodes 17, 18, 19
- Gail Rohde – episodes 29 and 30
- Who is this Carol I mention in every episode? Episode 21 explains.
- Show in a sentence. I’m putting a list together of the 30 show summaries in a sentence from Season One that I’ll put on our web site in a few weeks. I’ll let you know when it’s ready.
- Relationship quotes. My favorite “We Were Together. I forgot the Rest” from Walt Whitman. That was in episode 14
- Listener responses, and the questions and issues you raise. As in episode 20, “Relating with People Who Talk too Much.”
Before I close, here’s the he main take-away from today’s episode, our show in a sentence for today
Our relationship with time can energize us whenever we’re able to adapt what we do to the natural rhythms that are part of how God created us.
Here’s a way you can act in response to today’s show
What are you doing now that might be done better with a different rhythm? Can you think of ways you could re-energize yourself by trying another rhythm? A simple example: are there things you do now in the morning you could do in the evening? How about the reverse? Are there ways you can use your relationship with time as your friend, rather than your foe?
Instead of doing more with your time, how about doing less with it? And see what happens. Is there a way you could use your time to free you, rather than constrain you? I bet there are.
Is there a rhythm from your past that brought you joy, that for whatever reason you’ve drifted away from? What changes could you make to return to that rhythm?
Coming up in the weeks ahead
Watch your inbox for brief emails from me about relationship topics. I may communicate with you in a blog post instead, I’m not sure yet.
Relationship Quote of the Week
Trying to plan for the future without a sense of the past is like trying to plant cut flowers. ~ Daniel Boorstin
Well thanks for listening in to today’s episode. If you like what you heard, please hit the “subscribe” button on your podcast player.
And f you’d like to help this podcast serve more people, please leave a brief review in iTunes. It will help search engines to get the word out.
Above all, remember what you were made for. You were made to experience life-giving, fulling relationships. Even in your relationship with time and the rhythms of your life. We’re here together to learn how. I look forward to being with you again on this podcast when we resume with Season Two on September 4th. Good bye for now.
John, thank you for the the insights of this past season. I have enjoyed listening to you while cooking in my kitchen, laughing with you , and then pondering what was said. Your insight into your own need for rhythm touched on something all missionaries struggle with: the furlough. We had a rhythm of 4 years on the field one in the states. I loved it. but once our family began to stay stateside one by one, our rhythm had to change. now there are grandchildren and my heart turns towards home more often. we are looking at two trips home a year, for one month each. time will tell if this works! Since i am the problematic lady that talks too much i will make an effort to keep this brief. (I remember one time with stuart briscoe when he ended our time by asking me if i had been able to say all the words i felt i needed to say!) I have been challenged by the podcast to be a better listener, and i do believe i have made strides in becoming a better wife to dan since pondering how to make relationships more fulfilling. thank you for focusing on a people group that most overlook. You are such a dear friend and mentor to all of us. what i love is how intentionally you and Janet live your lives and impact others on the way. i remember you describing yourself as the “water boy” in Luke 22:10. You did that for us at Batikent protestant Church then and you continue to do it for all of us on this podcast now. Blessings on your season of rest, preparation, and reflection.
Love and admiration,