Rhythm and Routine make quite the duo. Rhythm for the right foot and routine for the left. We can dance the night away (metaphorically speaking) when the right foot and the left foot are in sync.
When things are flowing well, there’s a little Fred Astaire or Ginger Rogers in all of us. It feels good. It’s tantalizing to believe we can tap dance our way through this whole ‘charting the course’ thing.
I am finding, however, that transition is a way of life. Which, if you stop to think about it, it is.
One day ‘transitions’ into a new day, one sunrise and sunset after another. We’re hardwired to that 24-hour rhythm. If routine becomes a little too, well…routine, we’ll throw in some variety to spice it up once in awhile.
It’s all well and good, and even fun and interesting when we get to be in charge of ‘the chart’.
What happens, though, when our daily Rhythm and Routine is rudely interrupted in mid-course and the chart gets ripped out of our hand?
Transition happens. Again.
Our regular, repeated pattern of sounds or movements, events, changes, activities, etc. (rhythm) and regular way of doing things in a particular order (routine) gets changed to a new beat. Faster or slower, we find ourselves scrambling to catch up or stuck with a tempo that resembles slogging through mud.
How in the world do we wrestle through, let alone embrace, the latest transition without giving up, caving in, or becoming foolish in the heat of the day or shutting down out of fear in the night?
It helps to remember that as believers in Christ Jesus, we are in the world but not of it. Our steps are ordered by the Lord, not the world. Including what appears to us to be missteps mistakenly penciled in on the copy of ‘the chart’ we’re holding.
Our course may suddenly run aground or run amok. Hindrances rise up like Mt. Everest in front of us, obstructing and interfering with the path we can see and have been following. What was once comfortable footwork may now look or seem impossible … but our Lord deals in the impossible.
His realm is of the invisible, specializing in the not possible, for the benefit of His inheritance – us. (Ephesians 1:18)
Our first recourse is to deliberately draw our eyes away from the upset chart in our hands, as difficult as that may be. Then determinedly choose to inwardly look up and again fasten eyes of faith on the Lord, who knows our end from our beginning and all the steps in between in this charting of our course.
Can you hear the intention embedded in being deliberate and determined? Leaving out the intentional choice to not become defeated relegates us to our own sorry devices. It’s not pretty. Which rhymes with pity. And before you know it, there’s a party.
The second recourse is to re-calibrate our focus (after the first recourse) back to the next thing in front of us that needs our attention, time and emotional energy. This is an important next step in the transition.
We are human. After a mid-course jolt we can find ourselves swayed toward finding something else that will set our toe to tapping again. When ‘the chart’ or our plans get upset, two terms temptingly run through our second-guessing mind: baby and bath water.
“How ’bout we throw them both out and start over?!”
Uh, no. That won’t help what’s in front of you still in need of your attention, time and emotional energy.
Two recourses. Two choices.
We can either let life simply ‘happen’ to us and leave the Lord who orders our steps out of the equation.
Or, we may walk out this new transition with its different and unexpected steps in pace with Him.
If and as we do, He is faithful to lead the way, share His thoughts and heart with us, and impart increasing stability and wisdom with each intentional step taken with Him.
Whether the quick step has you huffing and puffing, or there’s a definite sucking sound with every slogging through molasses step you take in an effort to move forward – He knows the path and the pace required to get you to the prize.
Trust His lead. In time, you’ll find yourself humming again – ♪ I got rhyth-m … I got rou-tine ♫
Tune me in to foot-tapping songs, set these once-broken bones to dancing.
Psalm 51:8 MSG
If you need a pit stop in the midst of charting the course, I welcome your contact. Fancy footwork not required.