What Is Your Rhythm?
By Pr Evangeline Cheong
I recently read that babies have an innate sense of rhythm. Of course, what science and psychology researched is what most parents already know: the rocking motion that puts them to sleep, the rhythmic pats on the back that burp or soothe a child, the joy of little faces to the beat of the favourite song “baby shark.” Rhythm seems to soothe and bring joy.
Singaporeans seem to have a rhythm that soothes us too: work hard all year and hit the holiday season with a vengeance. Or if you’re a student or parent with school going children, your life rhythms will revolve around the academic calendar stress of tests and exams followed by periods of relaxation and holiday activities. Even the church has rhythms of Lent, Easter and Advent.
But do these rhythms really soothe and bring joy? Does the Singapore rhythm or the rhythm of the school and church calendar make us less rested and less joyful?
A 2014 survey  showed that Singaporeans were the 3rd most sleep deprived nation out of 43 cities surveyed. Another 2022 survey  sees Singaporeans tipping the scale on stress with 86% of adults reporting stress (global average is 82%) with the Gen Zs the most stressed of all. No wonder many seem to want to escape their jobs with the “Great Covid Resignation.”
If this rhythm is not sustainable, what hope do we have? What are God’s rhythms for us? We see rhythm built into scripture:
· Daily rest: Man rises when the sun rises, man rests when the sun sets.
· Weekly Rest: “You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but on the seventh day you must stop working, even during the seasons of plowing and harvest.” Exodus 34:21 (NLT)
· Daily rhythms of work and also connecting with God: “And after (Jesus) had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray.” Matthew 14:23
· Even God had a resting rhythm: “It is a sign between Me and the sons of Israel forever; for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, but on the seventh day He ceased from labor, and was refreshed.” Exodus 31:17
What is the rhythm of your life? What drumbeat do you march your life to? Can we as God’s people learn to be God’s people in rhythm?