When I asked my husband, who is a trained percussionist, this question: How important is rhythm to being a percussionist? He looked at me with this quizzical expression, but he humored me and responded seriously, “Rhythm is essential. You can’t be a successful percussionist without a good sense of rhythm.” I pressed a little further: Can rhythm be learned or is it innate? He said, “No one gets all the variations of rhythm without practice. Rhythm takes practice.”
Rhythm provides the structure to music that all else in the piece is built upon. Interestingly, what is true of music is true of our lives.
Our pastor uses the phrase, “Rhythm of life”. I’ve pondered the meaning and implications of that phrase for awhile now.
Rhythms can vary. Just like seasons. But even in the repeating of the seasons there is rhythm and it is comforting to our souls.
Rhythm to your day, the regular habits of thought and action that turn your mind and heart toward God are what the phrase is about I think.
It’s a pattern but not a rigid pattern; not a legalistic way of going about your day. Although there are those individuals who are very disciplined and their structure does not vary even to the minute. That’s not what I am talking about here.
Rhythm of life is more about the big ideas, elements, that fill your days.
Ironically we often move through our day driven by the clock, the external keeper of rhythm rather than by an internal intention or rhythm. Time and again I hear people say things like: ‘I just don’t know where the time goes’ or ‘I don’t have time for …’
We are all given 24 hours to steward. What we do with the time is up to us. Of course there are fixed and variable elements in our lives that must be attended to: people, work, sleep, food; but it is often the intangible elements that give us pause when they’re missing: time with God, creativity in some form, mental rest.
If you are feeling out of sorts or driven by the clock without a break, I encourage you to make an assessment of your days. Write down how you spent your time at the end of the day. Do that for three days. Look at what fills your time. Now comes the hard part.
If there are things in your day that don’t have to be there: tv watching, internet surfing, excessive texting or tweeting, excessive time on the phone; make some changes. To make rhythm adjustments change has to happen. To make room for the intangibles some tangibles have to go.
In Paul’s letter to the church at Ephesus he tells them about change. “These former ways of living, don’t work for you any longer. Put those off. Instead, put these on.” (the Message)
What are “these” that Paul was referring to? What are the things on your list that don’t work for you any longer?