Saturday, August 30, 2014

System Integration

Let’s explain one of the most common greetings we offer to those we meet. “How are you?” may signal our interest in the general well-being of our friends. Sometimes our query relates to their physical health, and may be expressed, “How are you feeling?” Notwithstanding the possible impertinence of this question, our acquaintances may actually be flattered by the personal interest expressed by the questioner. We may be inquiring about how the eleven physical body systems are operating. If all body systems are operating healthily, we also desire that they be integrated, coordinated, and cohesive. When we answer “I’m fine, thank you” to these questions, we should be aware of its potent meaning.

A breakdown in one body system is able to impede the integrated functioning of the entire body. Biology textbook resources instruct us concerning the circulatory, digestive, endocrine, excretory, immune, lymphatic, muscular, nervous, reproductive, respiratory, and skeletal systems. A visit to the hospital makes us aware of a throng of specialists eager to treat disorders related to these systems. The names of department specialties are posted over each office complex. General practice “specialists” understand the basic workings of all body systems and how the systems integrate.

In our recent series of posts we have focused on the auditory system—the ear and hearing. The human auditory system is but one of five sub-systems comprising the sensory system. The nervous system integrates the sensory organs with other body systems. Other sensory organs of the nervous system provide vision, touch, smell, taste, and balance. Auditory and visual senses provide the major portion of sensory information we glean from our physical world. However, we acknowledge the vital importance of touch, smell, taste and balance, not to mention our expectations concerning the healthy functioning of the other ten major body systems.

The outer, middle, and inner ear, together with the complex neural passageways for transmission of coded digital information from the ear to the auditory cortex consists of an integrated system in itself. But without the integration of other major body systems such as the circulatory system, sensory systems such as the auditory system would be non-functional. At every level of human bodily function, we understand the importance of system integration.

Maintaining effective integrated function of body systems relates to our adherence to healthy lifestyles. The more we understand the functional wonders of human body systems, the more we experience reverent awe of the Creator of body systems. Not only did God design each system, but he also designed the means of body system integration. Such knowledge is an example of the orderliness of God’s created works. Our expressions of awe and reverence are expressed in Psalm 29:2: “Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness.” (NIV)