Dancing to the Wrong Beat

12:46 PM

It wasn't until the 7th grade that I discovered music had a beat. It wasn't that "I had no rhythm"...I didn't know it existed. At a sleepover with two friends (one, a future cheerleader and the other, future dance team captain) after the "parentals" were bedded, the living room became our dance floor as we turned up the 80's music. And then it happened, I started what I thought was dancing...until my two friends exploded with uncontrollable laughter. In a not so gracious manner they taught me to hear the beat. These two fun friends saved me years of humiliation as I began my teenage era of life. I mean, I was a teenager of the '80s, so it could have been detrimental to a kid in the culture of the great hair-bands.

It's funny how music affects our memory. When I hear "Pour Some Sugar on Me", I'm 15 cruising with friends down our small town "boulevard". Music affects our mood and aids in our healing, as research has shown.

I wonder if we connect with music in such a way because it reminds us that life is lived best in a rhythm. Natural rhythms surround us. Look at the way nature works. Day follows night; summer follows fall, and winter, then spring. Plants know this rhythm. Animals practice the rhythm. How does a bird or Monarch butterfly know to migrate and where to go? They follow the rhythm.

For many of us, we get caught up in the idea of "rest" as stopping. Sabbath rest is not just a "nap" or "escape" (although these can be lovely:), rest is the opposite of restlessness. Our culture beckons for us to be in a constant state of RESTLESSNESS—our economy banks on the idea that we will be restless. We won't be satisfied with what we have; we will feel we need to buy this product, we need to do this to feel more secure or in control, or have this to be noticed more, or work this much to be more efficient or worthy. Living the Sabbath: Discovering the Rhythms of Rest and Delight (The Christian Practice of Everyday Life) by Norman Wirzba and Wendell Berry

What we see in Genesis is that God establishes this rhythm of the created order in the creation account.

In Genesis, the creation is a seven-day event.

The last day, called the "Sabbath" belongs to this created order.

Medieval Rabbi Rashi and other rabbis believe that on this day God gave creation purpose--its reason for being, it's meaning. The word they use to describe this is "menuha," and it represents the goal/purpose behind everything. We translate this Hebrew word as tranquility, repose, delight!

How does God rest in the creation account? There is not a divine nap or escape—Norman Wirzba talks of God making room for what is not God to be itself. God makes room for mountains, lakes, butterflies, and people. All are reflecting God's love. On the seventh day, what does God experience?

Extreme Delight! Not Restless-- there's no other place God wants to be. Our restlessness evolves from wanting to be where we are not, having what we do not have, continually sensing that if we had something or someone else, life would be better. But in Sabbath, God is exactly where God wants to be.

Not just appreciating what we have, but cherishing it. Delighting in it.
Dancing to the right beat in life doesn't just have to happen one day a week. We can practice sacred rhythms in our days, in our weeks and our seasons.

To help each other practice sacred rhythms in our days, a group of friends and I began a practice of sharing moments of rest and delight via Instagram with the hashtag #ekkdelight. I get to celebrate another person's delight while being called back to my own sacred rhythm during the day or week.

The beginning of summer, which could be considered a season of rest, reminds me to attempt to practice a rhythm of rest and delight. To take note of those moments when there's no other place I want to be. When I'm making room for butterflies, laughter, sunsets, people, and I somehow find myself dancing in rhythm.

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  1. Beautiful. Thanks for writing for your kiddos and your friend0s. :)


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