Matthew 11:16 “But to what shall I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to their playmates,
17“‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance;
we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.’
18For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ 19The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds.”
Today I got a lesson on rhythm. I used a metronome to help my son find the beat for his violin lessons. He is learning eighth notes; having to stay in tempo has had him tangled up and frustrated. In an instant he went from haphazard, it sorta sounds like “Can-Can” to it really sounds like “Can-Can”.
Now just to be clear, I love beat when others are creating it, and actually gravitate towards rap music, which emphasizes beat. If you see my minivan windows vibrating, now you know why. You will often see a rapper moving his or her hands in a back and forth motion that are short and long. They are staying within a structured meter.
I struggle with keeping tempo in my writing even though I studied the meter greats for my writing degree. I found trying to squish words into a rhythm annoying! Just let the words have their say was my belief. Unfortunately it wasn’t my teachers belief and this course was my lowest score in English. Beats, whether in writing or music, are discipline and they matter! And I STRUGGLE with disciple! I feel that what I’m trying to say gets lost in the beats, or the beat gets lost in what I’m trying to say.
Obviously it not an impossible task because many talented writers and musicians find the beat. The rapper and beat become partners, singing to and around each other; plotting out poetry that is flexible, alive and active. But can I create a beat myself? Can my writing set a tone in your lives? Absolutely! Jesus’ ministry was Allegro (fast and upbeat), whereas John the Baptist’s preparation was Grave. Why were two God commissioned men preaching so differently? John was the transition from the law of sin (death), to abundant life in Jesus Christ! They both set different tones with the music they played, but both brought repentance, redemption, and restoration to those chosen and willing to follow. It says that there is an order and purpose in each note that we play. It also says to me that each of us will play our own God given tempo. The things that don’t change are Christ provider of our beat, prayer, scripture, fellowship, and witnessing. Every single powerhouse in scripture had these five disciplines as part of their music. Some of us may be playing Ode to Joy and others Visee-Allemande Grave, but both take discipline . . . who knows, with God’s help I may try my hand once more at that iambic pentameter.