I used to be rhythmically challenged.
In high school it was marching band. In college it was choir, when we sang gospel music. If the director motioned for us to sway, the girl on my left and right each took part of my dress to move me until I found the beat.
In church it was “the dance”. All around me there was some fancy footwork at times, but the beat escaped me. (After some time praying for it, the Lord answered.)
In relationships it was moving beyond the awkward moments when yet again, someone misunderstood my direct approach to either mean more than what I said or be insulted. (even today, it can happen with people who are off of their own beat too)
By now, I think you see my point. We honor the gift of alignment after so many failed attempts to keep time. We appreciate the overwhelming joy of “being on beat” with our lives — of getting it right, of being in the right place at the right time and watching our gifts and calling collide with God’s will — after considerable time being “off beat”.
This morning I woke up and heard “keeping time” in my ear repeatedly. Maybe this is part of the Parker Palmer journey to vocation (see previous posts). Maybe this is something we earn…to go through life’s seasons with different conductors and different songs and different inspirations to move, and learn how to create what works in difficult movements or simply dance to what’s given.
Wherever you find yourself in relation to the “beat of your life”, I want to encourage you to keep time with it. Amidst the awkward moments and tough parts where others cannot follow your interpretation, there will be a string of perfect experiences wherethe band is in a groove the people feel you, understand your effort the subject of your “dance” is completely compliant and you, you are the best you’ve ever been…that you know of to date.
This is keeping time. And when we get there, we will know it. Catching up won’t be our focus anymore. Instead we will work on sustaining rhythm with God’s will. We will anticipate the next movement and adjust in the breathing time provided.
Selah, and love to all in search of rhythm. Here’s a song that helps me from time to time. It’s called Dance with Me by Paul Wilbur. I know you’ll love it.
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