I have been playing guitar for about 10 years. I started as a necessity, but over the years I have grown to love playing. I have also learned some music theory along the way. One of the tips that I have come across over the years has been to practice with a metronome. If you don’t know what that is, it’s a device or app that keeps time. You tell it how fast you want it to go, usually to make the tempo of a song, and then you play along with it. The idea is that as you play with a metronome your sense of timing improves. And more specifically, it evens out.
During our worship team practices, we have started incorporating a metronome. The challenge is staying in step with it. We were having difficulty with a song and I told our team, “The metronome has no feelings. It just keeps right on ticking.” It is our job to get on the beat with this relentless pulse.
What I found surprising with my own description is that our faith is like that. God is the steady, consistent beat of the universe. He does not change and everything takes its cue from Him. Whether we understand it or not.
So often we ask God about his timing. Why was he late or early? Why didn’t he show up when we needed him to? What I am starting to realize is that it’s not God’s timing that is off, it’s mine.
Whenever I get out of sync with God everything is going to feel off. We are going to be disconcerted by that lack of connection with God’s rhythm. I am still thinking through how do we practice staying in step with God. I don’t have anything “new” to offer. However, I get the feeling that one good place to start is by doing a better job of practicing some of the time-tested spiritual disciplines handed down through the centuries. Disciplines like prayer, scripture reading, contemplation. There are many others, these are the ones that I know I need to constantly be working on to feel like I’m locked into God’s spiritual metronome for my life.
This is one of the primary reasons I have grown to love the Liturgical calendar, even though I don’t belong to a liturgical church. There is something precious about making the passage of the years to a steady, repeating rhythm. We are in the season of Lent. It will pass and a new one will come. But, I also know that Lent will come again. And I will be able to go through this process of reflection again next year. Embrace the rhythm and work to get back on track when you fall behind or get ahead of what God is doing.