This morning I dropped my freshman off at his high school to play in the welcome band for today’s freshman day (yeah, school starts in like a week. Yikes!) . As I as walking back to my car I walked past the drum section. They were doing their drills to get ready. The visceral sound of the drum competing with my heart for beats woke me from my Monday morning grogginess and got me thinking. I want the rythym of faith in Christ to beat in me like morning drum-section drills.
There’s that saying, “Marching to the beat of a different drum.” You know, it means you’re not doing what everyone else does. You think differently. There’s a way you live that is motivated by a different rhythm than the masses.
Growing up in a Christian home I often thought of Christianity as a to-do list. There were things you do and there were things you don’t do. And if you didn’t know what to do, well then, you should ask yourself, “What would Jesus do?” But as John Piper put it- I don’t have his exact quote, but he said something like, “Most of what we do in a day we do without thinking.” What’s in us, comes out in the way we live every day. We don’t stop every second and ask, ‘What would Jesus do?’ That would be weird. And it’s not what being a Christian is. Being a Christian isn’t so much trying to do or not do certain things. Being a Christian is something that has happened to you from the inside. From your gut. From your heart. The drum beat that moved the melody of your life along has changed. So it’s not so much that you have to ask yourself all the time what to do or not to do. But rather, a new law, a new way of life is written on your heart. Every beat is electrified by the life of Christ in you.
More than one crisis of faith brought about this awareness in me. When a cup gets shaken, what comes out is what’s really in there. When I was shaken, all my put on piety fell apart and the drum drills of my heart were revealed. That process of being shaken and finding out what’s on the inside is the process people call sanctification I think. The drum beat gets off and the conductor has to stop the music and say, “Whoa, whoa, whoa. That’s off. Let’s get that beat right.” It’s sort of a process of cardioversion of the Christian heart.
I wish the drums of Christ’s life in me beat louder. I wish I had ears to hear them better. I don’t need to wish. There are practices that God has provided for me to grow in the grace he’s drumming in me. One particular comes to mind.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. – Colossians 3:16
I need the word of Christ. I need to read my Bible and look for Jesus in it’s pages. I need to receive it with meekness cause I don’t know so much. And I need to chew on it because that’s how it’ll get dwelt in me richly. The drills for the drums of my Christian heart are divinely given in pages of scripture where, if I’ll practice, I’ll learn to hear and be moved to live out of a beat to the drum of Christ in me. And when I get shaken, grace will spill out and lots of repentance.