By the Rev. Jeff Falkowski
In our modern society rhythm is hard to find. We are no longer in line with the natural order of things. As a result, many of us feel out of sync and frazzled. Is there a safe harbor for our tired and weary souls in the midst of the chaos of the storms of life?
The Ancient Fathers and Mothers of our Christian faith understood that as creatures of God’s creation we should be in sync with the natural cycle of life. Nature has seasons; winter, spring, summer and fall. Days have distinct phases; morning, noon, evening and night. Thus, our spiritual ancestors ordered spiritual life around a Church calendar and a daily office.
The age of modernity wrecked this understanding of being in rhythm with the Creator’s creation. The pride of human nature sought to “conquer” nature rather than to live in sync with nature’s true rhythms. The information age has amplified this dissonance. I wonder how much of the “disease” in our culture comes from such a disjointed worldview.
I believe, our internal-selves are looking to connect with a rhythm, any rhythm. In the technologically hyper-connected, over-scheduled western world we are constantly being barraged with information, communication, entertainment and activity; we have little time to pause and reflect.
We often become unaware that we have synced with a rhythm that is damaging to our souls. Such chaos begins to control our spirits and subconsciously we begin to cry out for deliverance. Often the cries for healing manifest themselves in hurts, habits, hang-ups and unhealthy relationships.
All too often, the Church has responded by trying to accommodate this godless rhythm rather to learn a new, but ancient rhythm.
There is a way to rediscovering that sweet vibe that calms the soul. It is deeply rooted in Scripture and connected to tradition. For Anglicans, we have a prayer book to help us, The Book of Common Prayer. Here we can learn the significance of the Church calendar and the soothing rhythm of the daily office.
Praying with the help of the daily office doesn’t have to be complicated, long or burdensome. Pausing a few minutes at each phase of day is not a time where we work hard trying to “get” Christ into our lives. No! It is a time when we pause, even if just for a few moments, to recognize that Christ is already there with us in the mundane, in the exciting, in the troubled, in the happy, in the healed, in the harried and in whatever constantly in flux emotional state we may find ourselves in.
As we pause to tune ourselves to the rhythms of the day, we discover the connection our souls long for as we become aware of the soothing presence of the Prince of Peace who is always there.
I wonder what a life, a marriage or a home might look like for those who pause to hear the rhythm of the Creator in daily life?