Rhythm is all about listening. In music, rhythm is the thread that holds everyone together so that, in fact, music is created, instead of just noise.
Middle school band was a quick lesson in learning to listen to one another while following our director. Mr. Grey was patient and very kind with 12 and 13-year-old kids who had little to no musical training. To his credit, he very rarely winced at the sounds we made and looked for something to praise with every attempt. The bass drum player of the Gilmer Jr. High marching band didn’t want to march with a bass drum. To be honest, I am pretty sure his mom made him be in band in the first place and so we often heard a beat whenever he felt like it, instead of whenever the music called for it. Without a reliable, consistent beat, we didn’t know when to step or where we were in the music. The train wrecks of those summer band camps are still legendary!
In our spiritual lives, there are many rhythms to be listening for. The rhythms of our bodies call us to rest and eat and play. The rhythms of the seasons call us to explore, to let go, to die, and to be born. The rhythms of our families call us to enfold and to open up our circles of relationship. The rhythms of the calendar call us to expect and hope and create space and surrender and celebrate and mourn.
The rhythms of the soul are created from all of these rhythms that propelling us forward and calling us to stop.
But the rhythms of the soul are subtle and quiet, softer than the beating of a butterfly’s wings, requiring us to settle in and listen intently. It is easy to overlook these rhythms for a time but they will not be ignored forever. Eventually, marching out of step with the rhythm of your soul will create a legendary train wreck of you own.