United Church of Christ

Out of Sync

"Take heed, o women of leisure! Soon you will shudder in your complacency, for the wine will run dry and the vineyard will be strangled by thorns. Weep now for the coming disaster … until that day when the Spirit is poured out on us and the wilderness yields a harvest." - Isaiah 32:9-10, 15

Many of us are notoriously capable of functioning out-of-sync, of living contrary to the rhythms of our own bodies and spirits. We say "yes" when our hearts aren't into it. We push our bodies when our spirits are tired. We juggle impossible schedules. We drink coffee in the evening to resist sleep, and coffee in the morning to jumpstart our wakefulness. We sit for hours at work and at home, though our bodies long to move and breathe and stretch. We use lamps and screens to light our nights long after the sun has set. We hesitate and calculate when our spirits long to leap with joy.

Our bodies have circadian rhythms: 24-hour cycles of hormones and neuron activity that keep our bodies' functions in sync. Living out-of-sync with the rhythms of our bodies can negatively impact our health – mind, body, and spirit.

We also live out-of-sync with God's rhythms—although in fairness, God's rhythms are rarely intuitive to human nature.

Weep now while life is sweet and easy, God says.

Lament now before you taste life's bitterness.

But when disaster comes, rejoice to know that the Spirit will be poured out like wine.

When the fields are empty, dance because a harvest is ripening in the wilderness.

Attuning our bodies to their molecular rhythms is important daily work for the sake of our health. Attuning our spirits to God's rhythms is essential daily work for the sake of our faith. 

Prayer

Be gracious to us, O God, in our dissonance and our discombobulation. Help us focus on your rhythms in all life and your rhythms within our flesh.

dd-hackenberg.jpgAbout the Author
Rachel Hackenberg serves on the national staff for the United Church of Christ. She is the author of Writing to God and Sacred Pause, among other titles. Her blog is Faith and Water.

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