When you grow up around a lake there are certain dock traditions that manifest. One of ours was grabbing the Pert Plus, lathering our heads with the soapy bubbles dribbling everywhere and jumping off the roof of the dock into the lake to wash our hair.

Save your questions of how that was actually clean based on coming back out of lake water for later. We don’t judge here. Plus, I have my own doubts about these childhood shenanigans.

But it was something the cousins did together.

What better way to bond than by washing yourself, then jumping into lake water? You know…the lake water you probably peed in earlier in the day.

What I do love about this is the natural rhythm that it created and sustained in our summer for decades. We could always count on that Pert Plus and that leap from the top. It happened like clockwork on summer weekends for decades.

It makes me think about the rhythms I have in my life that that mean something beyond myself and others share in with me. What rhythms do I have beside cutting carrots a certain way based on OCD, making coffee every morning, and filling my water cup before bed? None of those things affect others, and while I would hope me being caffeinated every morning helps God’s Kingdom…probably not. Though a serious case could be made for this if you knew ‘morning Stephanie.’

One of my favorite rhythms is my Thursday night with a small group. It is insanely life giving for me. In a year that has caused so much change, this group emerged slowly, but with a root system firmly in being more and more like Jesus.

Our group rhythm is following the teachings of Jesus, fellowship with each other, and prayer at all times of the day. Love God. Love your neighbor. We try to live it as much as we can in our lives. Actually, the only thing we are really missing from the four parts of the Acts 2 community rhythm is the sharing in meals together. Because…COVID. We do frequently have someone eating their dinner when we get into the Zoom room. So maybe that counts? And yes, we are 100% virtual. Crazy, right? I know.

All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer. [Acts 2:42]

There is something to be said for natural rhythms we find ourselves in with the relationships around us. Sometimes they are negative and not healthy, yet other times, they are so, so good. It isn’t just the comfort and support they provide, but the trust and respect that allows for challenging each other to be better. We’ve had some hard conversations, but we have also had some of the most Holy Spirit saturated conversations that lead us into pure, beautiful, transformative moments. And it is not easy being a neighbor, it actually gets super messy before it looks like something you want to tell others about. It is also not easy inspiring others to be more and more like Jesus, but we are trying.  

And I am fairly confident every single one of those people I hang out with on Thursdays would actually wash their hair and jump off the top of the dock if given the opportunity.


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