I grab my bible and sit, hoping for a few moments to soak in Psalm 87 before starting the laundry. I can hear the boys up front, in the living room, building a fort with the giant waffle blocks Isaiah got for Christmas. Happy chatter quickly turns to arguing and I reach for my noise cancelling earphones as their father intervenes. I slip the sleek black gift onto my Medusa morning hair and turn my attention back to the words but stop, remembering I haven't prayed yet. I lean into the silence and ask the Father for forgiveness, I ask him to open his words to my heart. I take a deep breath and clear my head.
The toddler screams into a fit that even my earphones cannot drown out.
But all I can really hear is the beat of my heart. It's coming through as I breathe, loud, deep, strong, even, and true. I listen for its movement. What a gift this heart is with its ever-steady work. The blood rushing in, valves slamming shut, pressure building, then blood hurtling forth to keep this human body alive. I'm forty today and a little unsure of it. But this sound that keeps me alive reminds me what God has given me. I know someday the beat will cease. Maybe I'll see it coming, maybe I won't. Either way, there's no longer any fear in knowing that my heartbeat has an expiration date.
As I listen to my rhythm I think of the heart within Jesus. How much love did it hold to choose death over life? Could he hear his rhythm over the crowds as they chanted, "Crucify him, crucify him!"? Did he slow the rate when the end was close, or did he just stop it? Because unlike me, Jesus was in charge of his heartbeat's end.
"No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord." (John 10:18)
He knew precisely when to command his heart to stop beating and let go of his spirit. And he did not falter or second guess his heart work. He just let his earthly body go.
Are we brave enough to do the same? Can we ignore the crowds around us and focus on the rhythm God has given us until we can let our earthly grip go? Do we have the strength of spirit to walk with time as we age and not stop carrying the heartbeat of our work with us?
Dear friends, may we be reminded each day our heart continues its rhythm that we have a God-given purpose. Our work awaits us each morning fresh and new with no idea how old we are or how many gray hairs have appeared. As long as our beat continues, then so does God's calling on our lives. Lean into the silence and find that holy rhythm God has given you and bring him all the Glory he deserves.