Jake Fox – God is my MetronomeGuest Posts
For those who don’t know what a metronome is….Google it. Haha basically it’s a device used by musicians (mainly drummers, like me) to help keep them in time and playing at a steady beat. It provides a sharp clicking sound that can be set at different speeds so the band can follow it. Simples!
I got the idea for this preach the night after I had drummed at our weekly youth night (it was the first time I had used a metronome with a band, it was also a new experience for me because unlike the smaller stage I usually play on, each band member heard the rest of the band through earphones (rather than onstage monitors). So the morning after (in the shower to be precise), I was reflecting on how I had played, when God just threw this thought at me about how he plays a part in my life. This was the first time I had ever god speak to me and it was perfectly clear what he was putting across. So here goes…
The whole point of a metronome is to keep a consistent/reliable beat for everyone to follow. If the timing of the device changed all the time it would be useless. It is the constant click that makes it reliable. This is such a picture of God because he is ALWAYS there, we rely on him throughout our lives just as we rely on the Click (metronome) to keep us going. In Isaiah 6:4 God is described as an ‘everlasting rock’, now this I love because if you’re looking for something to rely/stand on, an EVERLASTING ROCK is about as reliable as it gets. Not only is it ridiculously hard to break, but it’s there eternally. Just like God is for you. God is always there for you and he is your rock, your metronome which you can stand on because he is totally for you.
Now as a drummer I understand the role that I play. Now we may be the butt of every music joke however the band needs the drummer to keep in time, there is a degree of pressure that goes with this as well. Total trust needs to be on the metronome because: Band follows drummer… drummer follows metronome. We can choose to put our trust in less consistent things in life but the fact is, it is only the metronome we can fully rely on to get us all the way through the song.
Sometimes it’s hard to trust the metronome, as a learning drummer I still sometimes have to make sure I don’t naturally speed up or slow down. Just like this we can often find ourselves with our own ‘spiritual tempo’. When drumming I have found myself getting excited in the builds and started speeding up and not following the Click. The problem with this is that every song has a set tempo, and it is THAT tempo for a reason. By speeding up, we simply decrease the possible impact the song (our lives) could have. We speed up simply because of impatience. We feel “God, this should be happening faster than this. Why am I not to the next stage yet?”. God may be wanting you to stick to the tempo because you still have people to reach, friendships to make etc before you move onto the next stage in life. We assume that the ‘Long way round’ is the worst way round, when in fact God may need you to take a longer route because he knows that you have certain stuff to pick up along that journey e.g. wisdom, knowledge connections. In Jeremiah 29:11 it says “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”. The fact is, God knows what he’s doing. He’s not asking you to be patient and follow the tempo because he hasn’t thought of anything for you yet. He is ALL-KNOWING, he knows exactly where you need to be and what is going to happen.
On the flip side of this ‘tempo’ we can often find ourselves slowing down and becoming weary. The point here is that when we slow down, the metronome doesn’t. God carries on clicking and encouraging us: “C’mon keep going, I still love you, I’m still here for you, don’t give up.” He doesn’t slow down. He is not disappointed in us when we slow down, God doesn’t go “oh….I thought you would be able to do that…..erm, ok…….guess I won’t bother“. He is still just as loud and just as consistent. He is the same God no matter how we are doing or where we are. He the God or our past, present and future. It is simply our choice on how prominent he is in our lives.
3. In time with God
As a musician I love the sound of a tight band, not a note missed, everyone at the same beat, tempo and rhythm. Beautiful! So needless to say I can’t help but cringe when a bad is out of time, it just feels…..YUK. It’s like stroking a cat the wrong way. Now from this I just want to push the importance of having others around you so when you slip out of time, others are there to pull you back in. Your ‘band’ could be your friends, family etc. Have people there to challenge you to keep up, to say “C’mon this is the tempo! This is the pace you need to be at! Don’t be a beat behind!” It’s like the US Rangers saying “Leave no one behind“. Except with this it’s: “Leave no one behind the beat, lets march this together as a symphony.” Develop an environment of a tight band that can encourage each other along. There is power in numbers.
Proverbs 27:17 “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another”
God is not any louder to other people than he is to you. It is simply down to how available or how loud you are making him in your life. TURN THAT METRONOME UP! Think of it as a limbo bar, the higher the bar, the more of God you are allowing to come through under it. Just like if you make a metronome louder it is easier to follow! Heighten your expectations. We can sometimes choose to turn down the Click because “were not feeling it, no motivation” etc, but the fact is we haven’t altered what the metronome does, it is still clicking away. By turning down we haven’t changed God, we have simply just altered how available we are making ourselves to God! So when we turn up, he is there STRAIGHT AWAY. He holds no grudge, his click is everlasting. It is already and always there when we choose to come back and follow it. God is on the end of the phone line, you don’t have to ring him and WAIT for him to pick up. He is already there, it’s just simply your choice to call him and listen to his Click & guidance. Make God louder in your life!
5. The Mix
You may have heard Musicians mention this phrase before and had no idea what it meant. It is simply how loud everything is in your ears, the levels of each sound and whether some are overpowering others. On the night when I was drumming using a metronome I had a really bad mix. I heard some stuff ridiculously loud, and other instruments were almost inaudible, this was naturally off-putting. After the meeting one of the worship team was giving me advice about playing when he said such a simple and yet powerful phrase: “Sometimes you need to cut stuff out your mix because it clutters what you need to hear“. What a statement for growing spiritually eh? Quite often we can find ourselves with so many different voices and opportunities in our head, It’s all about choosing the right one to listen to. It is your choice on what to turn up. For example when performing in a band environment we may want a nice sounding guitar cranked up in our mix because it sounds great. But is that going to get you all the way through the song? The Click will be there throughout whilst other instruments may only be there for certain parts and then they’re gone. Just like certain people will come into our lives and drop out but God is there through it all, clicking away. Too many sounds can hinder you from hearing the click. Prioritize the metronome in your life!
6. Plugging In
You ever been talking to someone with headphones on and realized mid speech that they can’t actually hear a word your saying?…..annoying right? What headphones do is they focus in on the sound we are plugged in to. Let’s choose to plug in to the metronome in our lives. When using a metronome everything plugs into it, because if it was just to play through its own speakers we would simply drown it out and lose the timing. However if you choose to plug in, other voices can be as loud as they want but your are still focused in on the all essential….Click. Notice how plugging in doesn’t stop other sounds from being in your environment, it simply puts the focus on what you have chosen to plug into. PLUG INTO GOD! So what is plugging in? Simply taking action on your relationship with God, volunteering at church, being part of a study group, digging into the Word, devoting time to prayer. Have a headphone conversation where you can talk about and share what you’re focusing on about God! Build on your relationship with God! Make that Click prominent!
Now just in closing, this concept of a Metronome has been a bit of revelation for me because I have struggled with how other people can be transformed from Drug Dealer to Preacher in a small matter of time, I have looked at these people numerous times and thought “Well where’s my miracle? Why is God not transforming me?” People that have grown up in church and in a church-going family may be able to relate to this. Now it’s taken some time, but I’ve realized that just because God’s power is great, it doesn’t mean his faithfulness isn’t. God doesn’t always work in the way you expect, in fact I bet he hardly ever does!
Don’t let your account of God’s power underestimate his faithfulness.
He is still there encouraging you, challenging you, loving you,….as that beep, that click, that will never fade.