I love Latin music. The complex chordal harmonies. The lyrical melodies. But if I had to distill it to the one element that I adore, it would be the rhythm, specifically polyrhythms. Simplistically, this is any rhythm that combines two or more rhythms. Imagine three people clapping at different tempos. Now transpose this to a drummer on a drum set beating out four different rhythms with their hands or feet, add other percussionists on a clave or cowbell tapping out another rhythm, add a horn section accenting different beats of a measure, a piano player pounding out chords, and finally a singer, tying it all together with a melody that is introducing yet another rhythm! The sum of the parts is magnificent! If one focuses upon only one instrument or one rhythm, the focus of the entire composition is muddled, the theme of the music confused.
To correctly perform and interpret Latin music, one must master the rhythms. If this is not achieved, the music is simply notes, devoid of passion or direction. My life is no different. Disparate themes and activities, dissonant relationships, unexpected accents-by focusing and attempting to navigate one area, I lose control of the others. By my own efforts, I miserably fail. How can I manage these competing and conflicting priorities in my life? How can I find the rhythm?
When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul.
Psalms 94:19 (ESV)
God knows my frustrations and insecurities. Christianity is not a religion of do’s and don’ts, rituals, or behaving in a certain manner. Christianity is not a religion. It is not man attempting to reach God. Christianity is a relationship. It is God reaching out to man. By my own efforts, I can never find the peace, strength, or knowledge to understand the polyrhythms of life and make sense of the offbeat curve balls that batter my soul. Only a loving God who lived a life as a human can help me. Only Jesus Christ can help me. Jesus is God and lived a complete life as a human. He experienced the trials, frustrations, pain, and betrayals which I encounter. But unlike my responses, He did not wallow in self-pity and confusion. He continually sought God in everything He did. He lived a sinless life, completely devoted to God, the Father. And because of His faithfulness, if I confess and repent of my sins, and accept Him as my Lord and Savior, He is faithful and just to forgive me of my sins and accept me as a fellow child of God.
The polyrhythms of life can only be interpreted by God, the Master Conductor!
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.