Between the fact that I’m online a fair amount of time each day and the fact that I am a fifth grade teacher who has to do a lot of paperwork and planning, I spend a lot of time inside facing a computer. Doing so gives me the opportunity to see a lot of different images. Often, I come across a photo with a natural subject and find myself somewhat impressed by its beauty, regardless of the fact that I’m viewing a pixelated version of the real thing on a digital screen.
Fortunately, however, there are also times that I do get to be outside. It may be standing outside during car-rider duty viewing the rural scenery near the school where I work or accompanying students on the school nature trail to collect check for footprints at one of our tracking stations. Likewise, the necessities of lawn mowing and exercise also afford me opportunities to be outdoors.
Surely, not all of my moments outside are spent in rapt awe of the natural beauty that exists in nature, but, when comparing the beauty that I take in through a photo on a computer screen to an actual tree branch swaying in the wind on a breezy afternoon, there is no comparison. I am utterly convinced that no form or model devised by mankind will ever be able to fully replicate the beauty and splendor of witnessing, in person, the real, ecological and geological evidence of God in the natural world around us.
The same comparison, I believe, can be drawn between our life experiences as humans on earth and the hope that we have in life everafter. As an elementary science teacher with a very basic understanding of the scientifically-minded portholes through which we attempt to understand God’s creation, I honestly believe that the most advanced scientific theories only begin to scratch the surface of what is true about how this world came to be. No human mental construct will ever be able to fully comprehend or understand the magnitude of God. I’m not throwing out evolution or creation, but, conceding that it is an open-ended question that we may not fully understand until we are taught the truth by the one responsible for it all. If God did post all of the details of creation in Genesis, the earth itself wouldn’t be able to support the weight of the book.
Parallels, here too, can be drawn to our limited understanding of the dynamics that exist with regard to life, death, purpose, hope, and peace. From a logical and common cultural perspective, the idea that our whole justification comes from a God who became a helpless and homeless infant who would some day be executed, to the idea that, despite our vile selfishness as a species, we can live endlessly with that God, true Christianity is ludicrous! The creator of all life bent down and washed the feet of his followers, as a servant would, and instructed them then to do the same for each other. He actually wants us to kneel down in humble servitude and believe the promise that, if we accept His grace, we can live forever with him. From the perspective of your typical, independent, hard-working, pioneering American, this concept is absolutle lunacy!
As the late singer/songwriter Rich Mullins once said, “If you want a religion that makes sense, I suggest something other than Cristianity. But, if you want a religion that makes life, then, I think this is the one.”
My life doesn’t have definition and purpose because somebody was able to logically speculate the legitimacy of a scientific theory explaining how the earth came to be. My being, instead, has been infused with a faith in what I don’t and can’t fully comprehend. It is a faith that provides peace beyond understanding. My hope lies wrapped in a glorious life that even my imagination is too limited to contain.
“Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” 1 Corinthians 13:12
Eyes Have Not Seen
Are there mysteries we should know?
can I find them in a book?
will science give us answers
to the questions we make up?
Oh, Lord have mercy on my soul,
my way this faithless sight,
how my mind bends for your law
in a world of constant plight.
If we could but see it all
past these tangible things,
if we could but touch the open space
to see the horde of silent wings
And in the darkness hear a song
a song of ancient ages
and catch a glimpse of He who sat
in the middle of the angels.
Eyes have not seen,
nor ears have heard.
by Kevin Max
from AT THE FOOT OF HEAVEN, 1994