Voices of Faith: The Sine Wave of Life

  • By DUSTIN ATKINSON
  • Thursday, September 7, 2017 9:05pm
  • LifeCommunity

A sine wave is a mathematical curve that, when graphed, has a smooth repetitive oscillation. Basically it is a series of peaks and troughs. The sine wave is used in various fields to study sound and electrical current. It’s also used in the field of Computer Science, which is what I studied at Concordia University in Nebraska. We would use the sine wave to help illustrate the times when a computer’s processor is either actively working on a calculation, or idle waiting for the next set of instructions. But this mathematical curve can be applied to things farther outside the fields of science and mathematics.

The sine wave also depicts humanity, and the changes we all go through. C. S. Lewis, in his book The Screwtape Letters, writes about this phenomenon. If you’ve never read The Screwtape Letters, or have but can’t remember it, it is a series of letters from a demon named Screwtape to his nephew, Wormwood. In one of these letters, Screwtape is trying to educate his nephew on the strange thing humans go through called change. He writes, “while their spirit can be directed to an eternal object, their bodies, passions, and imaginations are in continual change, for to be in time means to change. Their nearest approach to constancy, therefore, is undulation—the repeated return to a level from which they repeatedly fall back, a series of troughs and peaks.” Throughout every aspect of our lives, we experience these peaks and troughs. Sometimes we are in a place of joy and celebration, where we are rested and at peace. Other times we are stressed out, mourning, or simply not happy. I’ve seen it a lot in myself, especially the troughs. No one likes the low points, in fact we try everything we can to get out of them. I always long for the day when I’ll be rested, happy, and excited for another day. That longing for the peaks in life, often times, makes us dread the troughs.

When we are in those troughs, we are dominated by the Law. We only think about what we have to do. But, the good news is God works hardest when we are in those troughs. As St. Paul says, “But [Jesus] said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (2 Corinthians 12:9). The troughs are where God works the hardest, allowing us to grow in our faith and life. Don’t be afraid of the troughs! I know I will look forward to every trough here at Star of the North Lutheran Church. I look forward to growing with all of you, as God works in us and through us.

Rev. Dustin Atkinson is the pastor of Star of the North Lutheran Church, 216 N. Forest Drive. Sunday school and bible study at 9:30am with Divine Service at 11:00am every Sunday. Visit sotnlc.org for more information.

More in Life

Homer writer Richard Chiappone. (Photo by Joshua Veldstra)
‘Hunger of Crows’ perfect for winter reading

Chiappone’s first novel is set in Homer, Anchor Point.

Fresh dinner rolls made without the addition of dairy. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
Baking for everyone

Dinner rolls skip the dairy, but not the flavor

Virginia Walters (Courtesy photo)
Life in the Pedestrian Lane: ‘Tis the Season

The Kenai Community Library has always been one of the stars in the crown of the community.

Homer News Ben Mitchell, left, serves spaghetti to helper Pat Wells in the kitchen at a past Share the Spirit spaghetti feed. (Michael Armstrong/Homer News file)
Looking to share some holiday spirit? Here’s how

Share the Spirit serves the Homer community by donating food, essential needs and Christmas presents.

Appease your child’s picky palate with these tasty Tater Tots. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: Tots to be thankful for

Two years ago, I spent the entirety of Thanksgiving Day in my green rocking chair, cradling my newborn son.

File
Minister’s Message: Keep in step

Sometimes it takes going half way around the world to learn how to “keep in step” as I journey.

Shelli and Mike Gordon pose in October 2011 at their Halibut Cove, Alaska, home in an Alaska Gothic version of Grant Wood’s “American Gothic” painting. (Photo courtesy of Mike Gordon)
‘Dagnabit’ features tales of ’80s wild Alaska

Gordon’s second book also tells of Ruben Gaines, creator of Chilkoot Charlie.

Before boiling, this handmade pasta is rolled, cut and tossed in flour to keep from sticking. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: Pasta by hand

Learning one of the most important task of the Italian kitchen: making the pasta.

Will Morrow (courtesy)
The Great Thanksgiving dessert debate

Our holiday gathering is going to be smaller than it sometimes is, and it was argued that we didn’t need two desserts.

Dianne Spence-Chorman’s “Fig Study” is one of the works showing in the Homer Council on the Arts “Fun wtih 5x7” show through Dec. 22, 2021, at the gallery in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
‘Fun with 5×7’ offers affordable art

HCOA annual art show presents art in a variety of media, all in 5x7 format.

Make pumpkin chocolate chip with cinnamon buttercream cupcakes for a decadent fall treat. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: In honor of ‘Cupcake Mondays’

Pumpkin chocolate chip with cinnamon buttercream cupcakes brighten up the dreariest of work.

Nick Varney
Nick Varney
Unhinged Alaska: Back off, Zeus

If this wet-n-warm, freeze, then start again, continues much longer, Kachemak Drive will need a complete redo.