Our existence is based on rhythm. There is the beat of the heart, absolutely necessary for our lives — when that stops we die. There is our breathing — in, out, in, out — we continue it without even thinking about it — when it stops we die. The rhythm goes on around us, doesn’t it? Other animals also need that heartbeat, that breathing in and out.
Plants too have their way of taking in light, giving off oxygen, the whole rhythm of photosynthesis, and then there is day and night, the rhythm of a turning globe as that globe rhythmically circles another globe giving us seasons, and of course the sun itself goes through its periodic cycles of activities of sunspots, its own peculiar rhythm. If any of these rhythms stop, we die.
God created us in Rhythm. Look at Genesis 1. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. There’s even rhythm there isn’t there? In Hebrew this whole creation passage is poetry, and poetry is of course marked by rhythm. The earth was formless and void.
There was only chaos, no rhythm, no form, no structure but God is there, God’s Spirit is there sweeping over the waters, sweeping over the chaos, and God puts structure and form there, begins the rhythm of life. God said, “Let there be light and there was light, and God saw that the light was good, and God separated the light from the darkness, and God called the light day and the darkness night, and there was evening and morning, the first day.”
Notice the pattern here, the rhythm. We begin with a command, God’s command – Let there be … and then there is the execution, and there was, and then there is the assessment, and God saw that it was good. Finally, a description of time, there was evening and morning, and then the next day’s rhythm begins command, execution, assessment and then the next day.
Into this chaos God brings order, pattern, rhythm. So the beat goes on, oceans and land are created, vegetation is created on the third day, the stars, the sun and the moon are created the fourth day, and on the fifth day, the swarming living creatures, birds, sea monsters, and the sixth day, animals, creeping things, wild animals, domesticated animals, cattle and finally mankind, humanity. He created humankind in his image. Now God looks at everything and sees not only that it was good, but that indeed it was very good.
We were created in rhythm. Use God’s rhythm. Use it in your prayer. Have a regular time as a part of the rhythm of your life to have a time of prayer with God, a time of rest, a time of conversation with God. Let God’s rhythm work in you.
REV. DALE BROWN is the pastor of Cumberland and Guinea Presbyterian Churches. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.