Think about what your days are usually like; that is the rhythm of your life. For some, rhythm is order; for others, it is chaos. Some of us run all day to complete the day’s task. That is a fast rhythm. Some move nonchalantly along. That is a slow rhythm. Some mix it up. We run sometimes and stroll other times. Hearts also beat in rhythm. Music makes rhythm. And we all have danced, rocked or swayed to rhythm before. We know what it is. It is the pulse that gives life. It is the beat of your daily routines (patterns).
Rhythm is “the life of the design”. Rhythms occur because of different kinds of patterns, and also as a result of movement, but with a bit of variation. We have already discussed patterns and movement, therefore in some ways we have also explored rhythm. I have read about at least five times of visual rhythm, regular, flowing, random, alternating and progressive rhythms.
Regular rhythm in art includes sameness in pattern. For me, it is like what most people are used to—get up in the morning, bathroom, dress, breakfast, through the door. Every morning, it is the same exact routine.
Flowing rhythm has curvy or wavy lines. For me, it is like running to the supermarket after work, dashing home to cook a quick dinner, a quick shower, quickly dress and out the door for a meeting.
Random rhythm is as it says, random, doing a bit of what seems appropriate. For me, it is like deciding to eat out after staring in the refrigerator for 15 minutes—not knowing what to cook.
Alternating rhythm is just like using a black-and-white tiled floor. For me, it is making a chore list, cleaning today, laundry tomorrow, cleaning today, laundry tomorrow; with children, you have no choice.
Progressive rhythm changes with each pattern; they may get bigger each time or smaller. For me, it is like school—the more you learn, the more you need to learn.
What is rhythm like for you?
Let us follow the principle. There is no doubt that the Master Designer created rhythm within us; try listening to your heart. This is the center of life. Rhythm is the beat of your life. Have you ever seen people dancing out of rhythm? It is not a lovely sight, is it? Not to mention those singing out of rhythm. You would not want to be like them, I am sure. I would not either; but in other ways, our lives are out of rhythm. Our hearts beat, but not in tune to the heart of God. Life directs us away from the rhythm God has intended for us. We move to our own rhythm, causing havoc in our lives and most times in the lives of those close to us.
Life keeps us so busy with regular, but UNnecessary, rhythms like our weekly club nights, partying and drinking, or our daily hours in front of electronics. These unnecessary rhythms crowd out regular rhythms that we need to develop, like daily prayer and worship. God wants us have random rhythm and do random acts of kindness. For example, wives, why not give the husband a single rose instead of expecting one. That is random. God also wants us to perform random gestures of faith in Him. He wants us to alternate between our needs and the needs of others. Keep a little, share a little. Give a lot, receive a lot. Our Master Designer wants us to be have progressive rhythm by continually diminishing pride so that humility can grow. He wants to develop in us less urge for sin and more urge for obedience. When we develop more and more of the right kind of rhythm, then our rhythm will flow with the Master Designer.
Rhythm drives your life; but do not let it send you moving in the wrong direction. Remember, rhythm is one of the unifying principles of the design. Therefore, rhythm within families and relationships should also complement the members well. Families have issues when each member sway to different songs. Each spouse has individual rhythms, but the two should coincide to form harmony. It is like Dad beats the drum, Mom plays the banjo, and the children shake the maracas, but in rhythm.
Families have to create rhythms that are harmonious, or else such confusion will reign. If there is confusion right now, check the rhythm. Here is a very mundane example. Mom lays out the children’s clothes in the morning. Mom packs lunch bags and makes breakfast. Dad gets dressed and helps the children. Everyone eats. Dad and children clean up while mom gets dressed. Everybody in the car, through the door. Tha is rhythm. Sadly, many families can hardly pull that off in the mornings, much less pull off a more profound rhythm. When Dad is shouting, Mom is shouting, and the children are screaming most mornings, the rhythm is off. Try making rhythms that harmonize. Look within your life and start somewhere.
Develop rhythms so that your life will flow and move in the direction of purpose. The Designer’s intention is for you to reach perfection. Think about the rhythms that drive your life. If you are heading for a crash, change the rhythm. Transform your rhythm to purposeful work, rest, worship, service to God and each other.
Fill your life with the zesty rhythm of daily worship, meditating on the Word of God and prayer. When you do that, all other rhythms will fall into place. Harmonize with God’s rhythm. Live your life with purpose, and set it in tune to the rhythm of the Master Designer. It is your life, but since you must have rhythm, then why not make it zesty?
Hebrews 12:1, “Let us run with patience the race that is set before us.”
Artwork: Avocet Brooks