Synchronisation

Wall clocksIn 1665, when a Dutch scientist called Christiaan Huygens invented the pendulum clock, he then discovered something unexpected – 2 clocks hanging up in the same room were swinging in exactly the same rhythm. All the time. Even when he deliberately started them on separate beats, within a short time they would be swinging in unison.

And it didn’t seem to matter how many clocks were placed in the room; they all ended up on the same beat. Somehow these non-living objects were influencing each other.

This might seem a bit strange and spooky to you (it did to me!) but there is a scientific explanation – the sound the clock made when it ticked sent a wave of energy along the wall which then affected the other clock.

The concept is called “entrainment”, and scientists have found it everywhere, especially in living things:

  • Thousands of fireflies in Asia will light up simultaneously, with no apparent leader or signal to do it. If you put different groups of them together, then over time the new group will start lighting up in sync.
  • Brain waves often synchronize when people having conversation agree with each other.
  • Not only do lovers hearts end up beating in time, studies have shown that a theatre audience end up with synchronised heart beats – speeding up and slowing down at the same parts of the play!

And we see this with each other, for example with things like culture and language. My children know the unwritten rules of our family, that someone else visiting might think are really strange. We pick up mannerisms, accents, habits and principles. Syncing is so natural to us, that when a father talks to his newborn baby, the baby will instinctively move their mouth too.

If like Jesus, we want to be doing what we see the Father doing, instead of doing things by ourselves (John 5:19) then the key to this, to being more like Jesus, to getting in sync with God’s heartbeat, is not to try really hard to copy him, but to get close to him. As Jesus talks about in John 15, over and over again – to remain in him.

An adult, mother and child hold a red heart in their hands. Concept for charity, health insurance, love, international cardiology day.

The issue can be that we can’t always easily see Father God, but we do spend time with lots of other competing influences, other pendulums, and if not careful, we will start to move in time with them, not God, without even realising it.

We need to tune in and to still ourselves to the heartbeat of God, because that’s how our heart rate then naturally attunes to his. And we will begin to instinctively know the rules, the culture.  We will pick up his accent, his mannerisms, and start to feel his emotions, his response to things. We will just ‘know’ that something isn’t good, or we need to get in touch with someone, or pray in a certain way.

So, what are you doing to remain in him, to get yourself in sync? Do you have a good habit set up for 2020?

If you’re struggling to find time or to remember to do this, maybe now is a good moment to stop and ask him to show you what would work best for you this year. For many of us, sticking to the same time, same place and same pattern helps us be consistent in making time to connect with God, to keep in tune and in time with him.  Personally, I cope so much better with the ups and downs – and the busyness that tells me I don’t have time to do it – when I spend time not simply getting to know more about God, but tuning in to his presence, too.

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