My son Jacob has been taking piano lessons in a format very different than I did as a child. I took lessons in a neighbor’s living room by myself, going through a sequence of songs playing lots of classical music. My son, on the other hand, is taking group lessons and learning to read chord charts, play the blues, jazz and a variety of music genres. I have to admit that I’m a little jealous!This past week, his class started learning more about rhythm. They went from counting “One, two, three, four” to adding in a “micro” beat in the middle. Now they were trying to count “One-and-two-and-three-and-four-and.” To demonstrate, the teachers had all of the kids clap their hands straight without the “ands.” As they are clapping and counting out loud, she starts to add the “and” beat. Then she mixed things up and had half the room clap the numbers, and the other half clap the “and.” Then they switched up the sides of the room. It was hilarious to watch (and participate in, because the parents weren’t immune). As they clapped the rhythms, they were sometimes in sync, and then at other times they were very obviously not.
That particular lesson made me think a lot about the rhythms in our own lives. We might have a steady “beat” that we follow throughout the day; a pace that we’re used to and that works well for us. But sometimes you throw in those “off beats” and it can throw us for a loop. Flat tire? Lost keys? Late bill? Even those with the most steady of beats can get thrown off track.
But it’s not just in our secular life – there is a rhythm to our relationship with our Father.
Are we in sync? Are we on the beat? And if we get off the beat, how do we get back on so we can make beautiful music with our Father?
Hebrews 12:1-2 gives us a clue as to how to get back on track: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.”
Just like in my son’s music class, it’s easy to get off track and out of rhythm when you aren’t watching or listening to the Teacher. In our faith lives, how diligent are we to keep a daily devotional time, or to make prayer a regular part of our existence? I can’t expect to have a harmonious, steady relationship with my Father if I’m not making time for that relationship.
My prayer for myself and for each of you today is that you take time to build on the rhythm you have with the Father or get back in sync with Him so your relationship can be a beautiful one that is in tune with each other.