The Rhythm of Life
As I sat on the beach, watching my granddaughter take such pleasure in filling her bucket with water which she then tipped into the hole she had dug in the sand, the rhythm of the waves began to dominate my thoughts. Not the 'melancholy, long withdrawing roar' which Matthew Arnold envisaged as he experienced the diminishing of the Sea of Faith nor 'A Wave burst in anger on a rock' to quote D H Lawrence, but that regularity of sound as the sea rolls to the shore on a calm day. That took me to the regularity which many of us appreciate in our lives: the regularity of going to work, to church services, meeting friends, taking part in leisure activities.... Then to how that regularity was so suddenly broken eighteen months ago when work often moved from the office to home or even ceased, meeting family members was banned for some months, our normal services and activities could no longer take place.
Over the months, new rhythms have been established: Zoom meetings with family or colleagues, even of book groups, on-line and streamed services, local walks instead of foreign holidays. All challenges faced and overcome as far as that was possible.
And now, new challenges: what do we want to keep of the last few months? How do we muster the confidence to regain former activities? Have we and our friends changed and how do we adapt? How do we move to a new rhythm of life?
It helps to remember: life changes, we change, but God is changeless as the psalmist reminds us:
Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations.
Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
So let us pray for confidence in and help from that unchanging God, as we look to new rhythms in our lives:
Be present, O merciful God,
so that we who are wearied
by the changes and chances of this fleeting world,
may rest upon your eternal changelessness;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen