Sunday, August 8, 2010
the break makes the beat
Confession: I take myself and my life way too seriously sometimes. I find myself wanting depth, depth, depth all the time and everywhere. But the truth is, we are meant to enjoy life in the small ways as well and this week I squared off with myself and looked straight in the eye my desire to lighten up a bit. This is all part of my recovery from the last season of walking through hard things and facing buried emotions in myself.
As has been a regular occurrence this summer, the summer internship we are running with 6 high school students has taught me and encouraged me and challenged my thought process in ways I didn't anticipate. Including this battle against only living in the deep end of life. Being with students who call "banana" every time they see a yellow car and challenge me to push ups before 9 a.m. don't often let me live in the deep end. But there are also portions of the internship, the teaching especially, that have given me perspective and growth and called me out in places that I need honesty.
This Friday was our final day together, after 8 weeks of relationships, growth, laughter and challenge. And I loved every second of it, easily one of the highlights of our (mine and Ryan's) summer. Part of what I have loved is the privilege of hearing perspective from leaders in the community and the wisdom from what they have learned along the way. I have felt so blessed by their own confessions, tears, and humility in sharing their stories.
This final day was no exception. We invited our friend Brad, who was also our teacher for our time in Israel to share some perspective. And after sitting under Brad's teaching for two weeks, I already was prepared to be encouraged. But what he shared was so timely and profound in a simple way that it spoke straight to where I find myself on so many days. He began with bringing out a drum and asking one of the students to play a few beats. One was fairly simple, the next more quickened and the final beat he played had pauses and variety. And quite naturally we all loved the third beat as it was enjoyable to listen to.
What made the beat was the pause, the break in between each tap of the drum that allowed the pronunciation of the sounds and the song being played. Brad shared that this is much like the beat of our own lives. When we drum away all of the time and don't give any space for a break, the rhythm in our lives is missing something as we pound away. Day after day, coffee dates and twitter feeds and facebook updates, spending time driving here and there, shopping for this and that. The rhythm of life.
To allow for pauses and breaks gives more meaning to the rhythm that our lives are making. What he was getting at is the idea of sabbath in our life, of creating rest and taking steps back. And it resonated with me as I engage in relationships and a career and marriage. All of those things that I want to focus on and create depth in. But sometimes the intensity with with which I bang my drums keeps me from that pause, to have time with my husband or to go for a long walk, to stay at home on a Friday night to read. Simple things yes, but I truly believe that Brad is onto something here and am I am thankful for the simple truths and encouraged to find more breaks in my beat.