As I was waiting in the TSA line at the airport in St. Croix, U. S. Virgin Islands, I was unsure what to make of the destruction I witnessed across the island. The effects of the hurricane, now many months past, were obvious and long-lasting. I overheard an island resident explaining to his neighbor in line that the results of the hurricane are a part of the natural ‘balance’ of ocean winds and water, a balance which in fact the land and the sea need if they are to survive.
Balance. Life demands that its parts be held in ‘balance.’ You cannot, you dare not, upset the delicate balance which life requires and imposes. The islanders of old explained the seasons of life thus: “Time Longa Dan Twine.” This saying was the title of a book I read while visiting St. Croix. The author, Arnold R. Highfield, explains that it is an expression “that reflects the wisdom of the people and culture of the Virgin Islands, meaning, in one sense, that the things of the world always dwarf the things of man.”
“From the islands emergence from the sea, from volcanoes and plate tectonics, millions of years ago, grew rock, broken into soil and lagoons. Then came sea and airborne flora, then animal life and reproduction began. The rhythms of its life forms in birth, struggle, death and regeneration. Natural destruction, storms, earthquakes, tsunamis-destroyed all things-but those that could survive grew stronger and more plentiful-balance; natural harmony.”
There is a balance, a natural harmony to all life. We pray for the strength to survive and become more plentiful. Sometimes that happens for us while we exist on this earth. Sometimes it happens when we arrive on the New Earth when death will be no more. What appears to us to be destruction is often life finding its balance, the notes of life finding their place in the harmonic chord.
When your life is out of balance, may your moment of imbalance be the moment you discover the strength to survive and grow, achieving a natural and spiritual harmony.
“Time longa dan twine”, for sure. Do what you can with the twine, but know that God has the time in his hands. We worship the Creator of time, light and life. And you.