Gardening

Morning on the homestead is the beginning of the rhythm and harmony of the day. And by morning, I mean 6 a.m. It’s when the sun rises on a dark world. Roosters begin crowing, announcing to the raccoons: “You missed me again, you little buggers!”

That’s also the time when the dogs decide, “Well, we’ve barked all night long for no particular reason, let’s tuck in for the morning and call it a night.”

I would like to consider the value and the beauty of pursuing the rhythm and harmony that God desires for us.

Rhythm

Seriously, I do love the mornings. It’s the cool part of the day, quiet, perfect for reading and writing and working on chores. I actually like being fully engaged while most of the world is still hitting their snooze button.

The homestead comes alive with the sound of my critters stirring. Unlike humans, critters typically follow the pattern of circadian rhythms. Circadian rhythms are physical, mental and behavioral patterns that follow a 24-hour cycle. These natural processes respond primarily to light and dark and affect most living things, including animals, plants and microbes.

All of creation has a God-directed rhythm.

While we may appreciate modern technology, one invention opened the doorway to two things: economic and technological progress and a generational diminishing of our natural strength, hardiness and health. What is that invention? The electric light bulb.

By God’s design, the human body awakens when the sun comes up and sleeps when the sun goes down. It is our natural rhythm.

Critters know this. At dusk, my chickens start locating their roosting spot, a place high up where they will be safe and where they can sleep. My pigs will move dirt and hay on the dusty ground, creating a nest. As the sun goes down, they will tuck in and begin their night’s sleep. It’s pretty amazing to watch.

What do we do? We turn on the lights, turn on the TV, turn on the laptop, do everything we can to spend the next few hours pushing against what our natural rhythm is calling us to do: rest.

We go to bed long after the sun goes down. Did you know that those who work nights are at a greater risk for metabolic syndrome and a combination of health problems such as high blood pressure, high blood sugar, obesity and high cholesterol.

We need to reconnect with the beautiful rhythm of life as God has ordained. And while you won’t find the word “rhythm” in the Bible, you will find instruments of rhythm.

Psalm 150:4 (ESV) says, “Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe!”

Praise Him with rhythm.

As human beings created in the image of God, we desire harmony. What does the Bible say about this?

Romans 12:16-18 (ESV) says, “Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.”

Deep down, we yearn for harmony. While my homestead gives me a bit of space to pursue that harmony, the truth I have learned is that the closer I am to the Creator, seeking first His Kingdom and His righteousness, the better I am at living and vibing (my teenage son’s word) in harmony with God’s will and His glory.

Harmony. Rhythm. When it all comes together, it’s quite beautiful.

I mentioned how much I love the morning. After a long day, it can be easy to carry grudges and frustrations, and even anger into the evening. Ephesians 4:26 (ESV) tells us, “Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger.” If we manage that well, by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, then we get to enjoy this promise: “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23 ESV).

Don’t let the sun go down on your anger. Wake up to the new mercies of God. The same mercy that delivers us from sin and eternal death is the same mercy we find each morning. Harmony and rhythm are arguably a description of the Gospel message. We sinned. God loved. Jesus saved. Sounds like beautiful music to me.

To God be the glory!