A few years ago, I decided to get serious about swimming. I’m a bad swimmer. I don’t enjoy going back and forth staring at a black line. I need the scenery to change. I have pretty rotten technique. My legs drag in the water and I have never quite figured out how to maximize my pull. My goggles always leak. Always.
The thing that was really holding me back was my breathing. For most of my life, I have breathed only on my left side. Sometimes every stroke, sometimes every other stroke, but always on my left side. Stroke-breathe-stroke-breathe. Or stroke-stroke-stroke-breathe-stroke-stroke-stroke-breathe. If you are a musician, you’ll get this… everything in the pool was in 2/4 or 4/4 time.
There is a lot of 2/4 and 4/4 music out there. Most of your rock n’ roll, your John Philip Sousa marches, your Taylor Swift. So as I swam back and forth and stared at that black line, I would sing… 2/4 and 4/4 songs. A vast repertoire was at my disposal. ‘Shot through the heart and your to blame…’ ‘Every rose has its thorn…’
Then I decided that I was going to learn to breathe on my right side as well. There are all sorts of good things that can happen when you are breathing [and looking] on both sides of your body while you swim: You can see how much faster are the people on your left AND your right. You can sight the land when you are swimming across a lake.
It took a long time to figure out how to breathe to my right. I began by breathing on the left and drinking water on the right. Then I figured out how to get my face up on the right side. But my arm went all wonky-jawed. Needless to say, it was not pretty, there was some minor vomiting, and a lot of pointing fingers.
But, after a few weeks I figured it out: breathe-stroke-stroke-breathe-stroke-stroke-breathe-stroke-stroke-breathe-stroke-stroke
Yep. You guessed it. None of my 2/4 and 4/4 music worked anymore. I was a man without a playlist. So, I went searching for all those 3/4 and 6/8 hits: Waltzes, polkas, Irish music. I had a new rhythm. I needed new tunes.
This weekend, most of us will have a very different Sunday. Over half of our church will worship at a new time– 5pm. And all of our church will worship in a new place– Little Falls.
My family has been talking about how our Sunday rhythm will change with this new reality. What will we do with this precious space on a Sunday morning during this unique season of our church life? I am excited to try some different things, but also curious to see what ‘fits’ in this new rhythm. Knowing me, there will be moments when it is not pretty, there’s some minor vomiting, and pointing fingers. I am not always a graceful change agent. But I am praying and anticipating how this different rhythm will be good.
Have you thought about Sunday and what you will do differently? One of our morning small groups? Brunch with friends? A new hobby? Sleeping in? I hope that your Sabbath rest is rich. I hope this new rhythm is a gift. I can’t wait to worship with you at 5.