Rhythms are just a part of what it is to be human. We have the physical rhythms of our heart beat, our breathing, our pace when walking, running, talking, singing, our work day rhythms, our sleep cycle, our family schedule, our social gatherings, our meals, our prayers. There are the rhythms we can see in nature, the seasons, the rhythms of the wind, rain, snow, sunrise, sunset, the ocean, the singing of the birds, life cycles and as we all see now, the color changes in the leaves.
There is of course rhythm in this work as well. Today I am keenly aware of the rhythms. Today is one of those rather rare days with quiet. This is not always the case, nor would I want it this way all of the time. However, there are days when this quiet seems particularly sweet. In the book of Ecclesiastes, there is the famous passage, “There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven…He has made everything beautiful in its time. (Ecc 3: 1, 11, NIV).
The daily rhythm at the day center starts with the van dropping off the families from the church about 6:45 AM. Then there are showers, getting dressed, packing up for the day of school and work, quick breakfast, coffee, and then run. Four families worth. Then there is often a quiet that comes over as those looking for a job, start that process, the program work begins, the kids who are not yet in school choosing activities for the morning. And the schedule quickens again about an hour before the van departs, kids coming home from school, parents back from work, excitement over the day, stories exchanged.
But there is also a rhythm with the families as they journey together to a place of more stability, that isn’t about schedules, it is more about the Ecclesiastes passage, where there is a time for everything.
…A time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
Some times are harder than others. Some days have more tears, tension and conflict. Some days have more dancing, gathering and mending. But the families journey these times and through these rhythms together – as an extended family. There are bonds formed between the families that are strong and eternal. They are good. They help weather the times.
Quiet is good for today. This is a good day for this time. Reflection is good for our soul, peace is good for our hearts, quiet is good for listening to God. Thank you Lord for this day with a quiet rhythm.