I don’t want to perpetuate a racism myth or stereotype, but when it comes to rhythmic activities—like dancing, I can’t dance . . . and, I am white, male, and over the age of fifty. But this post is not about dancing . . . it is about rhythm . . . the rhythm of life. Life has a certain rhythm . . . a certain pace . . . a certain way that we all expect it to play out on a daily basis. It is sort of life dance and I have lost my rhythm.
Life has rhythm . . . really. In the Old Testament the writer of Ecclesiastes speaks about everything having a “time” . . . that there is a time for everything. That screams of rhythm to me. We live our lives to a sort of rhythm by the way that we pace ourselves through the day . . . the routines that we have from the time we get up, go to work, and come home. Our lives have a pattern . . . rhythm is a pattern. When things don’t quite work out the way that we expect, our rhythm gets messed up . . . our dance goes awry. When that happens we feel out of synch . . . frustrated . . . and like a white guy who can’t dance.
My dance has been messed up for quite a while . . . ever since the prodigal son’s schedule changed and messed up the rhythm of my dancing. As the prodigal continues to get his feet back on the ground and his life in order, he still relies upon the wife and I to help get him around . . . especially to work. Once his training was over they gave him his schedule . . . it is a schedule that has him getting off of work at 7:30PM. The wife and I are usually done with our work at 5:00PM . . . we were usually home by 6:00PM. In the evenings we usually had time to sit around and talk . . . I got to write and relax. Now, I usually wait in the big city until the prodigal is off, drive home and it is close to 8:30PM. Slurp down a hasty meal (which my body lets me know about all night long), relax for about thirty minutes, pack a lunch for work the next day, and go to bed . . . all in an hour and a half. The rhythm of the dance is all screwed up . . . my body is all screwed up . . . and, my soul is wondering what in the world is happening. It is screaming, “I can’t dance!”
It has been said that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks. I am an old dog . . . or at least a stubborn one. This new rhythm of dancing is not working real well with me. I am out of whack . . . I miss the relaxing evenings of being able to sit at the computer writing some meaningless drabble about my life. I miss having the chance to read a book. I miss just being able to check out and be an introvert in my own little world. I probably miss that the most as I am not getting enough alone time to center myself in me. We introverts need that time . . . it is hard being an introvert in an extroverted world. In the meantime the soul just keeps grumbling.
We all need a rhythm in our lives. This rhythm serves as a sort of means of getting us from the start to the finish . . . for some of us it is quite flashy, for others of us it is functional. Mine was functional. I miss that dance because I was good at it and it worked for me. Since then I have been working real hard to get a handle on this new rhythm . . . it ain’t working. Not yet, anyways. I feel like I am back in college and one of my dates told me to relax and loosen up when I danced . . . embarrassed me to death. I thought I was loose and relaxed . . . thought I was dancing really well . . . but, then again, it might have been the beer. As you know, beer has been helping white guys dance since 1842!
Maybe it is my age . . . maybe it is my race . . . and, maybe it is just me, but this new rhythm has not been easy to learn. Maybe I need more beer. Whatever the case that is the way that it goes . . . the dance of life changes. We grow older . . . we move . . . we change jobs . . . relationships change . . . people die . . . or prodigals come home. Whatever the case, the dance changes . . . the rhythm changes . . . but the dance goes on. It has to go on, especially if we want dance with the Lord of the Dance.
If you ask anyone who knows me they can tell you two things about me: one, I do not sing even though I love to sing; two, I cannot dance . . . even with beer. But I try . . . I try all of the time. I sing in the car where no one can hear me . . . I dance where no one can see me . . . and, in those private moments, it is pure ecstasy as I discover that rhythm. It is a rhythm that gets me through the day . . . God leads, I follow. I think that maybe that is my problem . . . I am not letting God lead. I miss that . . . Yeah, I can’t dance . . . or sing, but watch out if no one is looking. God likes it when I let loose and let God. The rhythm will come back and watch out when it does . . . I’ll be a dancing fool.
“Dance as though no one is watching you. Love as though you have never been hurt before. Sing as though no one can hear you. Live as though heaven is on earth.”