You have to love the Grit Rhythm even though it is the most painful of the seven SYNC rhythms. The Grit Rhythm means you can't lose! If you "See Yourself iN Christ," then you see that any enemy who wants to break you down has to go through him to get to you, and that's not happening.
Enemies can still attack. They can inflict all sorts of pain on you for saying and showing that Jesus is alive. They can take away your security, your property, your freedom, even your life. The only thing they can't do is break you.
And one other thing. They never get to say, "It is finished." Only Jesus the King gets to say that. He turns ordinary people, even weak people, into finishers. So catch the spirit of Grit Season, start celebrating, and spread the word!
Like all the other six SYNC rhythms, the Grit Rhythm links you, your world, and your day today back to something huge God has done.
To "SYNC" with that God-thing means to align yourself with God's intentions when he did it. In this case the God-thing is that Jesus Christ showed us what it takes to complete his mission, faithful to the death. Christ also strengthened his followers with his Holy Spirit so they would have what it takes to follow his example of faithful endurance.
Jesus' command to us is not, "Take up my sword," but "Take up my cross." Grit Season is not about the courage to attack violently but the grit to endure violence.
Why did Jesus choose this strategy? He intended to give the world a free opportunity to change. Violence is not a tool good people have to use temporarily in order to bring in a better world. It is something that good people "attack" by enduring it courageously, and in the end they break its power.
This view of violence is terrifically liberating. We don't have to retaliate against the violence or let it dominate our thoughts and feelings. We are also free from the burden of thinking we have to conquer the world, as well as the deception of thinking the world would be perfect after our conquest.
Jesus never told his followers to conquer the world, and on judgment day he will not ask us how much we conquered or how fiercely we stood up for ourselves. He will ask about two other things: 1) how were we his witnesses, especially of his resurrection, and 2) and how did we endure and rise above whatever the world threw at us because of our witness?
Power, Mercy, Grit--those are three consecutive seasons in the SYNC cycle and three parts of our witness to the Risen King, Jesus the Messiah. Power shows that God's transforming power for good is at work in us. Mercy shows that God has already paid for our past mistakes. Grit shows that we authentically believe in his power and mercy even when they do not seem to be working for our own safety or comfort. Our trust in Christ stays genuine and deep.
Living as finishers
As we realize what Jesus was talking about when he said we would have to "carry our cross," we start seeing ourselves in Christ as finishers, and we pray prayers like this:
King Jesus, living source of our spiritual strength,
thank you so much for showing us how to carry a
cross and empowering us to do it like you did.
Thank you for replacing our fatigue and fear with
your stamina. Please forgive and bless the people
who attack us for representing you. They don't
know what they are doing. They think they can
stop the power of your love! Show them they can't,
and let us be the evidence they need in order to
realize you are alive.
Of course, we were not made finishers because we were any tougher than anyone else to start with or because we worked hard and earned this position somehow. We were no more likely to be loyal to the death than Peter was when he tried it in his own strength. But now that the Spirit has moved into us, we are finishers, and we will make it to the finish line because we are in Christ and he is in us.
So can anyone else who invites Christ in. Ever since the game-changer when Jesus carried his cross and sent the Holy Spirit, all his followers have what it takes to rise above any opposition God allows to come to us. If we used to be shy or even if we never had the guts for anything hard, the change in us now is all the more obvious. It shows that the strength is not coming from ourselves but from the living Christ inside us, changing us at the deepest levels of our personality where we can't change ourselves. Grit is largely "guts."
Grit Season (October 9 - November 23) is the time to re-SYNC with the Grit Rhythm. Remember who we are. Remember how we got here. And act like it--grateful to Christ for carrying his cross and giving us his backbone of spiritual steel. We are loyal through anything, we rise above anything, and we point people to Jesus as the one who makes it all possible.