Living with Rhythm

by Rob Tims

I pulled into the parking lot that my chiropractor’s office shares with a cremation service company, a real estate broker, and a dance studio. I was a few minutes early for my appointment and I knew the door was locked, so I sat behind the steering wheel and watched people dance.

I love watching people dance. I hate dancing, but I love watching people dance, especially when they are working on a specific kind of dance that has a certain rhythm with certain steps, with or without a partner taking certain steps at certain times. I was mesmerized watching this one couple gracefully move around and across the wooden dance floor. I couldn’t hear the music, but there was no mistaking their rhythm. They were tuned in to the song and their training, and the result was beautiful to behold.

That same kind of rhythm is noticeably present in the creation account of Genesis 1. The whole chapter reads like a dance. Six times a segment of God’s creative work is introduced with the phrase, “God said,” and ends with, “… there was morning and evening.” The poetic structure of the account is a kind of literary device mirroring the very rhythm of God’s creation itself. In the same way that God’s creation has rhythm—the earth rotating on its tilted access, the persistent drawing in and forcing out of breath, the steady pulse of the heart, the lunar phases and resulting tides—God made His creation. The results reflect His methods.

Small wonder, then, that a lot goes wrong in my life when I attempt to live with my own rhythm. When I deny God’s sovereignty over work and refuse to rest, I break His rhythm. When I refuse to take vacation time and disguise my idolatry as “taking one for the team,” I break His rhythm. When I try to force something in creation to do something it wasn’t made to do, I break His rhythm.

Why can’t I accept the fact that God created the world with structure that is good for me? Why do I desecrate His rhythm with hurry some days and procrastination others? May God grant me the grace to find the beat and dance to it well … to live according to the rhythm of His creation for my good and His glory.

Rob Tims is husband to Holly and father to Trey, Jono, Abby Jane and Luke. He’s the author of Southern Fried Faith: Confusing Christ and Culture in the Bible Belt, and manages the team behind at LifeWay Christian Resources in Nashville. He writes regularly at and blogs every Friday at Forward Progress.

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