Tuesday, April 14, 2015

I've Got Rhythm

I don't have rhythm, actually - I can't even clap and sing at the same time. I've tried using a tambourine or an egg shaker a time or two, but it wasn't pretty. And I can't dance. Like...at all. For most of my Baptist-steeped life, this presented no problems (except for when they tried to teach me the Landler in high school for the Sound of Music - now that was entertaining), but now I'm a member of a Pentecostal choir, and they've got rhythm just oozing out of them. And don't even get me started on my family! Not sure how the rhythm gene missed just me, but my Dad's a member of a barbershop quartet with moves, my Mom can dance up a storm, my brother's a drummer, bassist and guitar player, my sister is a professional bassoonist and music teacher, not to mention my husband and boys who are are all awesome musicians. Sheesh!

But you know what? That's ok. That's not really the kind of rhythm I'm looking for. What I'm earnestly seeking right now is a good rhythm for my days, one where everything important fits and there's room to pause and to ponder, to admire and appreciate life. I first stumbled upon the life rhythm image about a year ago at an intensive workshop, and it sure sounded like a good idea at the time! However, moving from theory to practice is proving to be far more challenging than I had originally anticipated. I'll come up with a rhythm, work on implementing it, do really well for a few days or weeks, then get side-swiped by some crisis, large or small, which completely distracts me and throws me off course. The important is replaced by the tyranny of the urgent and that which is good and necessary and soul-nourishing and life-giving gets dropped completely. Weeks later, I'll resurface, gasping for breath, and have to start all over again. The worst of it is, it's become a great source of guilt, since I set up expectations of myself and seem to fall short over and over again. Which is exactly the opposite purpose of pursuing this in the first place!

The most recent cycle of this really turned our household upside down for a time - and everything I'd been working to establish went right out the window. All of my energy and attention went to sorting out the crisis at hand, to the exclusion of pretty much everything else. It made for some very anxious, uncomfortable, unsettled days - for all of us. (Because you know it's true, that "if Momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy...)

What I really need is a crisis-proof rhythm! One that has spaces, that has some give, some flexibility. I also need to determine what are the absolute essentials, the non-negotiables, that which is necessary for peace and order and security for myself and my family. I need an ideal rhythm, one that includes everything that I've determined is important and valuable, and a bare-bones, survival kind of rhythm for when those crises come - because you know they will! Grace, that's what's needed here:

Come to me. Get away with me 
and you’ll recover your life. 
I’ll show you how to take a real rest. 
Walk with me and work with me—
watch how I do it. 
Learn the unforced rhythms of grace
I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. 
Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
(from Matthew 11, The Message)

Oh, "to live freely and lightly"! I think my time would be best spent learning to walk with Jesus, learning these "unforced rhythms of grace." I have a feeling that if I focus on this, everything will fall into place. What a wonder to have a Saviour who invites us to walk with Him, who cares for us so intensely and intimately, whose hand is in the details, whose plans for us include such freedom and peace and joy! Thank you, Lord!

1 comment:

  1. I love that version of that verse! It's wonderful and because it's in the Bible and an invitation from Jesus I know it is possible to live like that....only I don't. Most of the time. *sigh. One of my first thoughts when reading your reaction to crisis (and how it overcomes you without you realizing you are losing your rhythm) is "It's not her fault." I think you are feeling false guilt (familiar with that?) Your purpose is to keep finding your rhythm and maybe each crisis is bringing you closer to living the peaceful rhythm you are meant to live. Maybe this isn't making any sense; I am definitely not as articulate in expressing what I am thinking like you are! :) I don't believe Utopia is not possible here on Earth before our Lord returns. The turmoil and crises are going to be part of our lives because of the consequences of sin. Every crisis will be cause for you to seek a better rhythm, a situation for you to seek God for the rhythm He wants for you....He works all things together for good for those who love Him! Love you Joy-joy, and I want to encourage you in your journey. You have helped me so much just by articulating your feelings and thoughts! <3