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Quiet Talks On Service by S. D. Gordon

Full Power through Rhythm.

Then Jesus, with a sweep, gathers up all the results in a single sentence, |Ye shall find rest unto your souls.| Some one may be thinking, |I do not feel the need of rest or peace so much. I am hungry for power.| Will you please notice that Jesus is going to the very root of the thing here. There must be peace before there can be power. You shall find peace. Others shall find power. You will be conscious of the sweet sense of peace within. Others will be conscious of the fragrant power breathing out of your life, and service, and your very person.

These things, peace and power, are the same. They are different movements of the same river of God. The presence of God in fine harmony with you, that it is that brings the sweet peace. And that too it is that brings the gracious power into the life. The inward flow of the river is peace. The outward flow of the same stream is power. There cannot be power save as there is peace. There is nothing that hinders and holds back power as does friction. That is true in mechanics: a bit of friction grit between the wheels will check the full working of the machinery. A small nut fallen down out of place will completely stop the machine and bring all of its power to a standstill.

This is heart rest. The heart is the center, the citadel of the life. When the heart rests all is at rest. If the citadel can be captured the outworks are included. It is a found rest. It comes quietly stealing its soft way in as you go about your regular round of life. Just where you are, in the thick of the old circumstances and conditions, there comes breathing gently into your very being the great fragrant peace of God. You find it coming in. There is all the zest of finding.

It is rest in service. To many folks those two words |yoke| and |rest| have seemed to jar, as though they did not get along well together. But they do. The jarring is not in them but in our misunderstanding of them. A yoke, we have thought, means work. Rest means quitting work; no more need of work. But that is a bit of the hurt of sin that gets so many things wrong end to.

|Rest is not quitting
The busy career;
Rest is the fitting
Of self to its sphere.|

True rest is in the unhurried rhythm of action. Have you thought of when your heart rests? It does not stop, of course, while life lasts. But it rests. It rests between beats. A beat and a rest. A throb of power and a moment of perfect rest. A mighty motion that sends the warm red life through all the intricate machinery of the body; then quiet composed rest. The secret of the immeasurable power of this organ we call the heart lies just here. There is enough power in a normal human heart to batter down Bunker Hill Monument if it could be centered upon it. The secret of that power is in the rhythm of action that combines motion with rest. We call rhythm of color, beauty. Rhythm of sound is music. Rhythm of action is power.

I have often stood as a boy on the streets of old Philadelphia, and watched a gang of foreign laborers at work. As a rule they could speak only the language of their own fatherland. There would be a gang-boss to direct their movements. Perhaps it was a huge stone to be moved, or a piece of structural iron, or a heavy rail to be torn up. The ends of their crowbars were fitted under the thing to be moved. Then they waited a moment for the gang-boss to give the word. He would say, |heave ho!|

Then all together they would sing |heave ho,| and push. And a |heave ho,| and push; a |heave ho,| and a push. They made perfect music. There was always a small crowd gathered, watching and enjoying the simple music. Their work was easier because done rhythmically. This, of course, is the simple philosophy that provides music for soldiers on march. The men can walk much longer, and farther, with less fatigue if they go to the sound of music.

The story is told of the contracts for some bridge-building in the Soudan being carried off by American bidders. Their competitors in the bidding specified a year's time or so, for the work. The Americans agreed to do it in three months. They were awarded the contract, and to the others' surprise had the work completed within the specified time.

One of the contractors who had bid for the job on the basis of a year's time said afterwards to the successful contractor, |I wish, if you wouldn't mind doing so, you would tell me how you ever got that work done in so short a time with those undisciplined Soudanese natives for workmen. I have had them on other contracts and I know I couldn't have done it. How did you ever do it?|

And the American, whose blood was British a generation or two back, and farther back yet Teutonic, smiled as he quietly said, |We had a band of native musicians playing the liveliest music they knew within earshot of every gang of laborers, while our gang-bosses kept them steadily at work.|

Rhythm is the secret of power. Full rhythm is possible only where there is full obedience to nature. The man in full sweet harmony with God in all of his life knows the stilling ecstasy of peace, and the marvelous outgoings of real power. You shall find within your heart the great stilling calm of God, as steadying as the rock of ages, as exhilarating as the subtle fragrance of flowers, and as restful as a mother's bosom to her babe.

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