How is that rhythm thing working for you?

For this blog to make any sense, you have to read last week’s. I was on an unexpected retreat at Camp Allen as the “chaplain in residence.” I was intentionally exploring the difference between a balanced life and a life lived in rhythm with God.

I was living mindful of being as Spirit led as possible–praying about the people whose lives would intersect with mine as I traveled about Camp Allen, praying about when and what to eat, when to rest and when to walk, when and what to read and to do. It was blissful.

Then. Ahh, the dreaded then. I’d been having some problems with my teeth, and as I wisely cared for them, I’d been praying for God to heal anything amiss. Friday morning, I’d just prayed for healing, and decided to snack on a banana. A banana! I took a bite, and began to chew, when I felt something big and foreign mixing in with the banana. Turns out that a bridge made up of a crown attached to two healthy molars had come loose with the two molars breaking off at the gum line.

That it didn’t hurt was a miracle. The dentist called me back right away with kind words. She gave me a prescription for a healing rinse, and since I already had an appointment for my six month check up on Tuesday, I was set for the next four days of Memorial Day weekend.
But the bliss was gone. For my final thirty hours at Camp Allen, rest had met reality. The rhythm of retreat had taken a most discordant turn. As much as I’d loved for the joyful, peaceful give and take of the past two days to continue, if I couldn’t dance with God when I didn’t like the music I was hearing, I wasn’t much of a dance partner.

Back home this week, one morning as I was walking, I heard a lovely prayer on a podcast I enjoy, On Being. A wise woman (Sylvia Boorstein, a celebrated Jewish-Buddhist teacher and psychotherapist, mother, and grandmother) had been interviewed and talked about her practice of metta or loving kindness. Her metta is a time of breathing and stillness as she prays first for herself and then for a variety of others:
May I feel safe. May I feel content. May I feel strong. May I live with ease.

As I’ve followed the rhythm of God this week, this is the beat of the dance God and I are doing. I have some expensive visits to the oral surgeon and then the dentist over nearly the next year. In the meantime I get to go to Austin and dance with my daughter on her birthday and then dance the airport shuffle as I fly to dance with my grandson and his mom and dad. The beat of the rhythm of God for me today is the breath prayer:
May I feel safe. May I feel content. May I feel strong. May I live with ease.

May you feel safe. May you feel content. May you feel strong. May you live with ease.

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