Posted: 6/23/15 at 9:10am. Column by Ed Jordan.
Someone has said that “timing is everything.” The effectiveness of a baseball batter’s swing often depends upon timing. Swing too early or too late, swing too slowly or too quickly, and the ball will not be hit, or not hit solidly if contact is made. This timing principle also applies to business opportunities, where being in the right place at the right time, with the right process or product, can become the breakthrough needed to open up a whole new market or future. Timing is important in many areas of life.
While this phrase usually refers to the timing of engaging in a specific activity, timing is also crucial in the continuing effectiveness of one’s activities. Timing is not just important in making connections or encountering opportunities. The rhythm needed to sustain activities is also important.
It is not enough that a percussionist can strike a drum once. Rhythm requires more than one beat; it requires a recognizable pattern of beats. An orchestra can be comprised of some very exceptional musicians, but if those musicians cannot play a song together, in rhythm with one another, the music will be perceived as unrecognizable dissonance. Timing is not just starting together, which is important indeed, but it is also staying in ongoing rhythm so that beautiful music results.
In the human body, if the heart gets out of time, out of rhythm, the whole body loses its effectiveness. The heart may still be beating, but if the beats are inconsistent, the system does not function well. The effectiveness of the lungs depends upon the blood flow to them and through them.
And conversely, the effectiveness of the heart requires the rhythmic and effective functioning of the lungs. The rest of the body depends upon the timely and rhythmic functioning of both the heart and lungs. Timing is invaluable to the healthy functioning of the body.
Organizations are not that dissimilar from the human body. In a sense, the systems which make up the human body can also be found functioning in an effective organization. They use different names, but the functions required to become a coordinated system are similar to those in the human body. This is reflected in Paul’s use the analogy of the church as the body of Christ, i.e. as an organism, and an organization, comprised of many different parts or members that under the direction of Jesus each work together to make the body function effectively in the world.
At some point in our lives most of us have been what is commonly labeled “uncoordinated.” Fortunately, this usually was not a permanent condition. It was a brief state of existence when various parts of the body were out of rhythm with other parts. The more out of synch body parts, the less effective the organization will be. When body parts are not in rhythm with the organization, or missing altogether, the body or organization suffers.
This symbiotic interaction is described in 1 Corinthians 12:26 (NASB) which states: “And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.”
What we each do affects the lives of others. Our behavior impacts others, either contributing to rhythmic functioning, or disrupting effective functioning. One person at a workplace who doesn’t do their role, or doesn’t do it in a timely manner, breaks the rhythm and puts more stress and work on others who must pick up the slack.
The implications of rhythm and timing are vital in the functioning of our individual lives as believers, and as well as in the effective functioning of the church. As individuals, we need to stay in rhythm with Jesus. Jesus sets the pace, the course we are to take, and the roles each of us are to fulfill. To be spiritually healthy we need to stay spiritually and functionally in tune and in rhythm with Jesus.
As a believer, are you living each day in rhythm with Jesus and with what God desires to do in and through your life each day? Are you connected and serving Jesus together with other believers in a local church Effective churches need to have all the body parts serving in rhythm together under God’s direction. Are you in synch with God’s activities through His church?