● By Wendy Sipple
I think that every human being has a built-in, natural rhythm by which they live healthiest.
I’m not so sure that the lives that we are currently living are in tune with that rhythm. For years I was a drummer and I can tell you firsthand what it sounds like when music is out of rhythm. In fact, it was my job with the bass player, to keep the rhythm and to tell the team when we were off. I guess after all these years I’m still doing the same thing.
I’m not likely the first one to share with you that many of us run at a pace of life that isn’t very healthy. We dash from one task to another and multi-task along the way. Unfortunately, everywhere we look we see people running as fast or faster with us, so it just feels like we’re keeping up a pace. Where are the indicators of what’s an appropriate speed, though? It’s not until you look deep inside that we realize something’s wrong. Consider your sleeping patterns, your breathing patterns, your anxiety levels – are they telling you something?
Anyone who knows me knows that I’m not a nature guy. I could walk through a park on a cell phone and think nothing of it. But I am smart enough to know that nature’s design is far healthier than how I’m living. Every once in a while I’m forced to engage with the world around me and I see that the Earth operates at a much slower pace than I’m comfortable with.
For example, I surprised my wife last year for Mother’s Day by taking our two daughters to the store to choose seeds to plant in our yard; we went home and constructed a 10 x 4-foot garden on our side yard. I dug it out, outlined it with staked-down landscape edging, filled it with super fertilizer and set up a timed sprinkler system. I thought I was a stud. My two little girls checked it every day for about a month…and then gave up when nothing came up. I told a real gardener what I had done and he let me know that out of the six things we planted, only one was planted at the right time of the year. After what felt like a million years, cucumbers emerged. We celebrated them and waited for more to come. But for some unknown reason, a month later they stopped growing and everything died. I told you, I’m not a nature guy.
Gardens are fantastic at teaching you about life. You can’t force it. You have to work with it. You can’t buy it. You can’t hurry it. Honestly it feels like much of what I teach on Sunday mornings can be taught through gardening. What I do know is that we must slow down and stay within our inbred design if we want to thrive in this life.
Maybe this season we can all get out of our cubicles, out of our houses, and spend some time reconnecting with a more natural groove. Maybe we can let the kids play outside instead of only video games. Maybe we can take more walks, more bike rides, more hikes. We humans are so atmospherically driven that I’m sure the more time we spend outside, the more we will see the dissonance between how we are living and what might be healthier for us. Maybe a little time outdoors will slow us down a bit and we will have more of that peace we’re always rushing around for…it’s just a thought.
Hahn is Senior Pastor at Bridgeway Christian Church in Rocklin. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.