Rhythm by andrea

  Life has a rhythm, from your heart beat to your first breath, the way you walk through life is your song. How you react to life might be your refrain. It repeats over and over, whether or not it is edifying and joyful will  largely depend on you. 
     Each person in your life, and every event will be like an instrument someone is playing in your song and you have a choice. Learn to sing your own song or learn to drown out the voices. I suggest listening with a tuned ear. There are many songs out there with various rhythms and we must be selective or our lives will become nothing but noise with little joy and no chorus. 
      Being raised in a chaotic home with 12 siblings and all they bring made my life seem far more unstable and hectic than it needed to be. I didn’t know how to listen to the voice of the Lord because when the subject of religion or God came up, it was shut down with mockery and cynicism. I wonder how different my life would have been if I had known there was someone listening who cared. When I finally came to faith, I also realized that the Lord had been speaking to me my whole life. I was refusing to listen. So I stumbled through life and looked to what ever could fill the void in my soul. I would sit next to the radio changing the channel till something came on that reflected how I felt. I was sad, angry, rebellious and lonely and so was my song. There was not a day that went by that I didn’t consider taking my life. To those that know me today, they can’t imagine that person but I remember her well. Today my music is joyful yet meaningful. I like to understand the words and I love music that fills my being with praise and makes my heart melt with the love of God and the awe of His creation. 
    Ask yourself if your life were a song what would be its title? What genre? Would it be country song, a ballad, a hymn, easy listening? Can you see how your song has changed over your life? Can you see if it brings joy or stirs pain, is it angry or does it stir deep emotions in people and which emotions would they be? 
    The rhythm of your life is only part circumstances. It is often which way you choose to bring forth what is within you. Will you go about humming a tune or singing full throated. God gave you songs to sing, choose which ones you’ll sing and ask Him to release in you a new song. A song of salvation of love and worship, an offering to Christ, who alone is the Giver of life.
    Years ago I chose not to play secular music in my home. Why spend the time and effort when I can listen and sing songs that fill me with joy and surround me with thoughts of His glory. I often leave worship music playing and ask the Lord to receive it and bless my home with His presence even while I am gone (don’t tell anyone – they’ll think I’m a little crazy). I believe the Lord has His angels around us, that His presence is within us and that He is able to stand guard over our hearts and minds and our homes.
     I pray my rhythm is the Lord’s rhythm, my thoughts be His thoughts and listening to music that glorifies Christ lifts my spirit and focuses my mind on Christ. I start my day with music and try to sing to myself through the day. Music is an amazing part of my life I consider it a gift from our Creator. 
Psalm 100 says it all
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
Serve the Lord with gladness!
Come into his presence with singing!
Know that the Lord, he is God!
It is he who made us, and we are his;1
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him; bless his name!
For the Lord is good;
his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.

Rhythm by Ronda

There are those that have rhythm and those who don’t have it. That is the simple truth. I am sure we can all think of a wedding that we attended where everyone silently prayed for that person on the dance floor. LOL. I am thinking about one of my favorite Seinfeld episodes where Elaine is at a wedding “dancing” and everyone is enjoying it way too much! It is easy to spot someone who doesn’t have rhythm in dance because you can see the awkwardness and lack of fluidity in movement. However what about other forms of rhythm? How do we discern our own rhythm? I want to testify, it isn’t easy.

For the past several months I have been in the process of restructuring my business.

During this time I have been seeking new methods of implementing my plans. One day I came across some information on a gov’t sponsored grant seminar that was being held in North Jersey. I had come across the information at the last minute and decided I was going to make an attempt to attend. When I went to register for the event, I realized there was only one more seat available. Surely this meant that I was supposed to go, so I thought. It was going to be at an inconvenient time, nevertheless, I registered and started making arrangements to attend. To make a long story, short, when I arrived for the seminar, I found out that the seminar was not being held on that day. This was after I arrived a few minutes late and abruptly walked into the listed conference room only to interrupt some other training session! The information on the website and even the event information was incorrect! I spent a whole morning in traffic, a lot of traffic, only to get there and feel totally doped and disappointed. I called the gov’t agency office to let them know the information on the event was incorrect. The office representative was very apologetic yet at the time that didn’t really help. I felt totally out of sorts and couldn’t figure out how I ended up there on the wrong day. Why didn’t I get some type of witness or check in my spirit? What was I supposed to be learning from this? I didn’t get any of those answers then…. I had to take the time to sit and reflect. I had to reflect not just about that day but also on weeks and months of previous activity. What was I missing from the picture?

Finally I came to the conclusion that I had gotten off track. I was operating in my own timing and not in God’s. I was out of rhythm with Him. This is the simple explanation. I had to really pray about why I was out of rhythm. What was the cause or causes? What I realized is that, for me, there are several things that can get me off track or out of rhythm. It was important for me to acknowledge those catalysts and make efforts to keep those in check consistently. Now I am coming to all these revelations after the Lord had spoken to me many times about rest and observing a Sabbath. The Lord has encouraged me to pray about my time in the sense of offering it to Him. He sanctified time in blessing the Sabbath but we still tend to believe that it belongs to us. Our time here is really a gift, it is something we must steward wisely. It is not easy for me. I have to be very diligent. There are

many “times” where I have missed the mark like my little road trip. However, I am thankful for His amazing grace.

Even when we get out of sync, or our timing is off, or our rhythm and movement seems awkward and out of sorts Father God is gracious. He helps us get back on track and He shows us where we have stumbled. He is faithful. For me the difficulty can be in becoming too focused other things, all good but not His best for me. I also can become too confident in my own ability and not be dependent on His guidance. It is important to be dependent upon Him; totally dependent on Him even from day to day, moment to moment. It is easy to think that rhythm is routine but it is not.

In nature it is easy to see that Our Creator has a rhythm to almost everything. I think the ocean is a good example. The ebb and flow of the water and waves provides a necessary rhythm that affects our entire ecosystem. Those waves move rhythmically but waves look different every time. It is a rhythm but not a routine, a movement that is similar but with the necessary effect for the moment. There is a little book that I enjoy reading every summer called Gift of the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh. It is a little book with a powerful timeless message. Ms. Lindbergh speaks directly to the heart of women in expressing the challenges of finding our rhythm and balance in life. Lindbergh, was a woman before her time in many regards, somewhat of a Renaissance woman. She is brutally honest about the challenges and the cost of trying to “ have it all” from a woman’s perspective. She makes these profound discoveries during a sabbatical at the beach, hence the title, Gift of the Sea. Her observation of the ocean and all its surroundings helped her see the importance of rhythm. It is a wonderful read that I highly recommend.

Here is a small excerpt:

What is the answer? There is no easy answer, no complete answer. I have only clues, shells from the sea. The bare beauty of the channeled whelk tells me that one answer, and perhaps the first step, is in simplification of life, in cutting out some of the distractions. But how? Total retirement is not possible. I cannot shed my responsibilities. I cannot permanently inhabit a desert island. I cannot be a nun in the midst of family life. I would not want to be. The solution for me, surely, is neither in total renunciation of the world, nor in total acceptance of it. I must find a balance somewhere, or an alternating rhythm between these two extremes; a swinging of the pendulum between solitude and communion, between retreat and return. In my periods of retreat, perhaps I can learn something to carry back into my worldly life. I can at least practice for these two weeks the simplification of the outward life, as a beginning. I can follow this superficial clue, and see where it leads. Here , in beach living, I can try.

So I guess what I am really trying to say is that rhythm is complicated and isn’t as easy to obtain as we might think. When we have it we know and when we don’t we sort of figure that out too. Hopefully, we can figure it out without too many casualties. Somehow I would like to think it is really part of the journey of faith.

There are many things that can make us have to push the reset button in life, some positive and some negative. Changes in life and seasons can require a change in rhythm. I think the important lesson is making the necessary adjustments with total dependence on the Creator of everything so that our rhythm is in harmony with His.