The rhythm of the economy and the heart

anyaOriginally published in the Loudoun Times-Mirror, March 17, 2010.

The last of the snow melted from our front lawn in Sterling. Just as it did, the crocuses and daffodils pierced through the earth to draw the sun’s rays. May we be reminded that all things come and go, that today’s joys and today’s sorrows will in time give way. There is a rhythm to life. Some find God in that rhythm; some feel that rhythm when they breathe in and then out in Buddhist meditation; some know that rhythm as scientific truth.

The rhythm of life, known in many ways, given many names, teaches us that we belong to something far greater than ourselves that moves with and through us—from winter to spring, from sorrow to joy, from grief to healing or back again.

Many are still suffering the downturn of our economy. Some theorists say the current crisis is just a part of the rhythm inherent in our economic system. I don’t necessarily find that theory comforting, but it does call me to a faithful response.

Ever since our economy crashed, we have been looking for a culprit – pointing fingers at the wrongdoers, from the top executives to the working poor. This gives some satisfaction, but it doesn’t help us heal. Healing comes when we recognize that we are all bound up in this experience together and that we must work together to regain economic and social stability.

The slumps and highs of our economy will come. The seasons will come. Life moves with a rhythm that feels beyond our control. But there is one force that can move independently – and that force is love. So those of us who have strength to share today ought to do so while we can, and those who are in need ought to allow ourselves to receive, for tomorrow these roles might be reversed. Love moves us to give when we can, and it is what gives us the courage to ask for help when we are in need. We may not control all life’s rhythms but we can move with and through them with love.

Rev. Anya Sammler-Michael is the minister at the Unitarian Universalists of Sterling.

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