Summary: We need to understand the drumbeats that compete with Christ’s drumbeat in our lives, so we really hear Him.

The Drumbeat


October 23, 2004

I love a marching band. To be part of a crowd that is gathered along a street to watch a parade, and to hear, in the distance, the coming band, before I can see it, has always been a peak event in my life. I remember, as a boy, crouching along Rosser Avenue in Brandon, waiting for the parade that came with the fair each year. I’ve always enjoyed watching the Rose Parade, from Pasadena, on January 1, not only for the beautiful flower covered floats, but for the incredible marching bands that are part of that parade. To me, a marching band is incredibly impressive, as a group of people is marshaled, following their leader, to move at a particular pace and play wonderful music at the same time. I played in one band that marched, once in Souris, but that was hard- we were not a true marching band.

What stands out in such bands is their drum section. Some marching bands, in fact, are mostly drums, but most are not. The drummer, guided by the director or drum major, sets the pace, with different music calling for a different beat and pace.

Listen to some drumming for the Purdue University Band. (tracks 1, 3, 4-7).

Do you know that you have a drummer inside you? We speak of the idea, in life, of ’marching to the beat of a drum’. As the Purdue University Band has a drum section, led by a drum major, setting the pace for the entire marching band, you have someone or something inside you that sets the pace for you and for your life. Like the drum section of a marching band, or the drummer for a Dragon Boat, you have a drumbeat that is going every day. You might not even be aware of it, but it’s there. It drives you. It moves you. It’s at your core.

What is it? Do you know what your drumbeat is? Have you thought about what drives you? Have you considered what your drumbeat is? The Greek philosopher Socrates, believed that the unexamined life was not worth living. Reflection is something that is very important in our lives. It should be a priority in the life of every human. You need to know what drives you and what sets your drum beating at your heart-of-hearts. It’s easy for any of us to think we know what it is. It’s easy for any of us to want it to be something and to evade the reality that what we want and what it is are two different things.

Your drumbeat could spring from any number of things:

- a childhood hurt or slight

- seeking honour

- insecurity about personal value

- a need to get even

- a need to be right

- humility

- quest for wealth

- desire for prestige

- desire to serve others

- belief that to abandon any task, however unsuccessful, is to fail

- need to have a good retirement, however you define that

- desire to serve God and seek His kingdom

- feeling of always getting the short end of the stick, being shunned or pushed aside

- competition with a sibling, friend, neighbour, family member

The list can be very, very long- as long as there are different individuals on earth, actually, of the many kinds of motivators, or sources for our drumbeat, that are possible. What our drumbeat is shows and is evident! No matter what you or I say, the true drumbeat comes out and is clear to those looking for it.

I want you to listen to a drum cadence for a few minutes and ponder- examine, as Socrates said, your life, going inside and seeing what drives you- what is your drumbeat?

Play track 2- 5 minutes.

I know what drives me. I’d like it all to be the highest of ideals and values. But, in reality, I’m driven by a fairly great insecurity, in life itself. I’ve learned that this is a common driver for an adoptee- I did a research paper on this a few years ago and was encouraged to know this. But it’s not the best driver- it can prevent taking bold action, or it can lead to taking action no matter what the consequences might be. I have to be careful.

Peter, the apostle and friend of Jesus, writes of two drumbeats that Christians can follow.

1 Pet.4.1-6- there are two basic ‘drumbeats’ described in this passage. There is the pagan drumbeat- the beat of the world and the unbelieving- and there is the gospel drumbeat- God and Christian’s drumbeat, at its highest level.

In the Bible, a ‘pagan’ is someone who doesn’t believe in the True God, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The word simply means ‘unbeliever’. That’s not to say that these people don’t have beliefs that they live by- they do. But they are not the same beliefs of those who know and follow Jesus. In the times when the Bible was written, ‘pagans’ believed in gods that were not really real. They lived their lives in ways that they thought pleased the gods they believed in. These are the gods and patterns that we have to leave behind, yet which we can carry along with us.

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