I have had all year to think about the natural rhythms God has built into life. Actually, this has been a wonderful thinking process. I found that there was a lot I was taking for granted. As we move into the concept of “Dancing With God: Stepping in Time to His Sacred Rhythms,” take some time (several months would be good) and build a long list.
To get you started, let me include a quote from Wayne Muller’s book Sabbath: Finding Rest, Renewal, and Delight in Our Busy Lives.
“Carolus Linnaeus, an eighteenth-century Swedish botanist, became so enamored with the rhythmicity in plants that he grew a garden that could tell time. He planted flowers that opened or closed their blossoms an hour apart, from morning to evening throughout the day.
“All life vibrates to this inner music. The daily rhythms of many living things approximate a twenty-four-hour cycle, even when isolated in a laboratory. These circadian rhythms (from circa, “about,” and dies, “daily”) live deep in the body, are nearly impervious to alteration, and refuse to be extinguished. In normal daylight, mice in laboratories begin running on an exercise wheel about dusk, run intermittently through the night, and sleep during the day. Even when their cages are kept artificially dark for long periods, the mice maintain this circadian rhythm for several weeks.
“Sometimes when I walk the beach at nigh, there is a luminescence in the waves. a microscopic alga that illuminates at night. This algae is nonluminescent during the day—even under artificially darkened laboratory conditions. Circadian rhythms will entrain, or adjust to an artificial light-dark cycle—but only if it does not deviate drastically from a twenty-four-hour cycle. A test animal exposed to eleven hours of light and eleven hours of dark will gradually entrain to a twenty-two-hour cycle; if exposed to thirteen hours each of light and dark it will entrain to a twenty-six-hour cycle. But as soon as the artificial cycle is removed, the natural cycle returns. If the cycle is varied too much—if we try to entrain an organism to a thirty-, thirty-five-, or forty-hour cycle—the creature will soon give up trying to adjust, and return again to its original twenty-four-hour rhythm…
“Most organisms have more than one circadian rhythm. In human beings, different circadian rhythms govern the wake-sleep cycle, glandular secretions, highs and lows in body temperature, and the retention and excretion of urine. Despite all external manipulations of light, hours of sleep, or changes in nutrition, even under the most constant laboratory conditions, no organism can ever be completely entrained away from its true inner rhythm.”
NOW, START A LIST OF THE RHYTHMS YOU CAN IDENTIFY. Take your time. This exercise can become the platform on which we begin to dance with God!
Your Christian Blogger,