Can’t quite figure this weather out. Bitter cold, freezing temperatures with ice and snow flurries. Then the weather turns warmer and Spring-like. This week we just returned to a few days of cold again. The weather just can’t seem to make up its mind, its all over the place. Texas weather, what can you say? Of course, those of us who are from Texas have heard it said time and time again, “if you don’t like the weather, wait a minute and it will change.”
This fickle weather situation got me to thinking about our world and the situation we find ourselves in. The Russians have invaded the Ukraine. Flexing muscles, bombing and destroying all sorts of things. Huge outflows of refugees. A government under siege. The price of oil has skyrocketed, along with the cost of gasoline. During the pandemic, we saw supply sources struggling to keep up. We found shipping coming to a standstill. The price of building materials is through the roof, causing the cost of housing to go up exponentially as well. Inflation and recession are upon us. We are being bombarded in all sorts of ways right now. The world we live in is simply topsy turvy, with no end in sight.
My question is, do we ever have a time when something isn’t out of whack and askew?
Sure we do. But we usually have a few things that are challenging, not everything all at once. But this is how it seems right now, everything is just out of control.
This got me to thinking about a strange kind of word…Homeostasis. This is a word usually used to refer to biological systems. “Homeostasis is the state of steady internal, physical, and chemical conditions maintained by living systems.” Homeostasis has also been used to describe other kinds of systems that rely on moderating conditions. We see it in relationships; work, family, romantic, friendships. There’s usually a moderating force in our relationships that works to keep everything and everyone balanced. This helps keep the relationship healthy. Its a real rarity where both parties in a relationship are giving 50/50 to keep things at 100. One or the other in the relationship may at any given time give more or less. Sometimes it looks like 45/55, or 75/25, or even 10/90. The relationship can’t usually survive long if the balance isn’t kept. And the moderating factor can’t always be the same person giving more than they receive.Right now, we are in a situation where everything is unbalanced and out of whack in the world we are part of. The moderating factor in our world though, is God. God works tirelessly to bring a homeostasis to our lives. Sometimes even working overtime. When we are joyous, God rejoices with us. When we are grieving or sad, God cries with us. When we are angry, God is working to bring understanding and calm within us. Even when we might really be angry with God, God understands and walks with us in those times as well. God is the homeostasis in our lives.
As I began to mull this idea over, it occurred to me, we are rarely in a time where the world is completely at peace. We are rarely in a time when some issue isn’t causing financial markets to react wildly. We are rarely in a time when everything in our lives is harmonious. Somehow, we continue to function and continue to live our lives. The credit belongs totally to God. God, behind the scenes, is providing what’s needed to us so our ability to function continues.
As we journey through this Lenten season, how do we see ourselves contributing to the homeostasis of the world we live in? Are we a part of the moderating system that keeps our world together? Do we see things out of whack; people without homes, those who are hungry, those in need of love and support, parts of our world that are ravaged by warmongering and greed? How do we contribute to the homeostasis of life?
When it comes to tragedies, I have seen time after time where you as a people of God have risen to the occasion to alleviate the pain and suffering of others. That’s providing a homeostasis that brings a corner of our world into balance. During Jesus’ journey to the cross, he showed us a way for us to be that homeostasis. To give beyond ourselves, to give when it wasn’t in our interests, but in the interests of others. I’m hoping in small ways during Lent, I can be like Jesus. I can give when I expect nothing in return. I can do for those I know can never do for me. I can be a presence that contributes to this world. I realize I’m only one person, and so I probably can’t do any big things, but rather only a few small things. But I also know the world is affected not by the big things, but more so by the small things done by you and me. Bit by bit, little by little, we bring a balance, a harmony to our world. This is what I feel called to do, I hope you do as well. May your Lenten journey be filled with opportunities to bring light, and harmony, love, and life to all.
Your fellow traveler on the Way,