The Spirituality of Rhythm

by Christine Sine

Moon shoreI have been intrigued by the interest in my post on knitting and fact that knitting can be a spiritual exercise. Actually this should not surprise me – when I was writing my book GodSpace I read an article that talked about how any rhythmic action – even sweeping the floor – can relax and renew people. So anything that has a rhythmic motion to it can become the basis of a spiritual exercise for us.

There are many rhythms besides knitting that connect me to the presence of God and contribute to my spiritual well being. Here are a few that are very important to me

  1. The most obvious is the rhythm of the seasons. The life, death and resurrection of nature that occurs with the changing seasons is a wonderful reminder of the life, death and resurrection of Christ.
  2. The rhythm of the day that we so take for granted – our faith in the fact that the sun rises each morning providing us with light and warmth is a reminder of the faithfulness of God who comes to us each morning with the promise of life and love .
  3. The rhythm of tea breaks – very important to anyone who claims any alleigence to the British Commonwealth – punctuates my day in a way that renews and refreshes me. It is often in those quiet moments over a cup of tea that I sense the presence of Christ in me, over me, behind me, beside me and before me.
  4. Weeding the garden – I not sure if it is becausee pulling out weeds helps me get rid of some of my aggression or what but I have found that working in the garden and particularly yanking out weeds is a wonderful time to pray and meditate on the goodness of God.

Obviously this is only a small sampling but I would love to know what rhythmic actions in your life connect you most strongly to God and to the incarnate presence of Christ within you too. If you can’t think of anything than maybe you need to spend time in quiet reflection thinking about how you can connect the repetitive actions of the day to your sense of God’s presence. Often a simple prayer that we associate with a particular action and that we recite every time we perform that action can transform the mundane or the boring into a wonderful touch of the intimacy of God.

This is one of the aspects of Celtic Christianity that so attracts me. The Celts really knew how to find God in the midst of the mundane acts of life.

Here is a modern Celtic prayer written by a participant at a retreat in Sheffield Tasmania several years ago.

At the Sink

As I froth up the water running into the sink
I froth up thoughts of you in my life God.
Keep me bubbling with the quest for honesty
the quest for growth
I don’t want to stagnate in the scum of my own ignorance.
In the floating debris of my mistakes
I feel dirty with the things that go wrong in my days
but want to come out clean
like the utensil I pull out of the sink right now.
Take my mistakes
and wash them down the gurgling plughole
Oh God,
and let me start clean again.
(Marion Wilcox)

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