Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Better than "Must-See-TV"

I just returned home from taking my oldest daughter to Wyoming to be immersed in missionary training for 3 months. After that time, she goes on to Costa Rica for another two months to apply what she has learned.

My husband and I decided to make a family vacation out of taking her there. We spent three gloriously cool nights in Idaho Springs, Colorado and three more, even cooler nights, in Mountain Cabins near Yellowstone (not even sure of the name of the town, there wasn't really a town until you got to Cody, about 55 miles away!). Coming from Texas, where it has been 105 degrees, we were wallowing in the cool, crisp weather...amazed when we could see our breath one morning!

Everywhere we went, in both Colorado and Wyoming, there was a feast for our eyes! Whether it was flat plains and a huge sky full of wispy clouds that looked like a delicate painting or jagged mountains looming solidly over our heads, there was so much to take in! I took about 600 pictures (thank God for digital cameras and no need for film!). I am originally from Oregon and so this was sort of like coming home for me. My kids haven't been exposed to much scenery and they were just in awe. My 11 year old said, at one point, "I didn't think there were this many trees in the whole world!" Did I mention we live in Texas???

Being up on the mountains and hiking or horseback riding was like having a private worship service. Just taking it all in with my family was so refreshing, like a personal hug and gift from the Creator himself. It was amazing.

What I had to smile about were the droves of others doing the same, to some degree. People chose to leave phone service and televisions behind in exchange for something real, something awe-inspiring, something free and beautiful! It is a no-brainer to choose to enjoy nature, in such a setting, rather than hang out on the couch! But, statistically speaking, there is no way all of the people visiting these beautiful places could be a Christian. (Though it would seem an easy way to convert someone, if you ask me!)

So, what is it that draws everyone to want to be a part of such wild, rugged beauty? What does a non-believer get from such a display? Well, I think it just proves what it says in Romans 1:20, "For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities-his eternal power and divine nature-have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse."

The soul is naturally, intrinsically drawn to this sort of "soul food". We are hard-wired to crave something bigger than ourselves. To stand in awe and realize how finite we are is healthy and-- in this high-tech world we live in-- hard to come by! Whether all the other sight-seers knew it or not, the fact that they were drawn to the beauty surrounding them and desired to be a part of something so vast and engulfing is just further proof of the accuracy of the Word of God.

We have a need that can only be met when we, as the creation, come humbly before our mighty Creator!

No comments:

At the Intersection of Creation and Evolution: A Dream

The alliterating story below is based on a dream I had several years ago. Please contact me for permission to reproduce.

Darkness devours me.

I am enveloped in emptiness.

Are my eyes open or are they closed? I strain against this shroud of night and still see nothing.

What is this place?

An image illuminates in front of me. A large, leafy tree streaks past and vanishes.

It deserts me to the darkness again.

In a moment, more images appear. A rapid succession of snapshots and thoughts clamor before my eyes and mingle in my mind.

I see seedlings. Several supple shoots have emerged before me and then swiftly stream away.

“The first trees on earth were not seedlings”, my mind observes. “They were not created as small insignificant saplings.”

That thought is rapidly replaced with a vision of a man.

He’s maybe 30; he is muscular and needs to shave.

He fades away.

In his place I see an infant.

A tiny bundle of pink skin upon a soft blanket flickers briefly in my brain.

“Man was created with age,” is the next statement I hear. “Adam did not begin his life as a baby, he began as a grown man.”

The voice seems like my own.

The thoughts do not.

Reeling before me now is a blur of rivers, forests, mountains and even layers of the earth. It is like a movie rushing rapidly before my retina.

The soundtrack of this epic is proclaiming a peculiarly plain concept:

“The earth was created with age. Creation and evolution are not in total opposition. There is a reason that science finds the earth to be quite old: it was made that way.”

Thoughts continue to tumble through my mind; pictures parade before me. I listen in amazement to what seems to be puzzlingly profound and yet rather apparent all at once.

“Adam was created as an adult. Trees and plants were made fully grown.”

I suddenly feel quite certain that, if I were to chop down some of the trees that had been spoken into existence, I would find a range of rings running through their trunks.

“The earth was brought to life with age built into it… just like Adam. He did not begin life as an infant. The earth came into being with what it would need to sustain the life that was created. It was old when it was young. The world was
made with maturity; it was also produced with purpose.”

These thoughts are thrilling. Why had I not seen this before? It seems so simple. Obtusely obvious. Had others not observed this correlation? If they had, why wasn’t it being candidly conveyed?

In the span of thirty seconds I have been ravaged by a radical revelation. I feel the weight of its worth resting on me; it is tantamount to tangible.

I am neither a theologian nor am I a scientist. I don’t claim that the ethics of evolution are completely compatible with the Bible’s account of creation. But certainly Science can come concurrent to creation and affirm our faith with facts.

Of course, the Omnipotent Originator of the Universe is exceedingly elusive to what our mind could ever envision. Above what science could ever extensively elucidate.

Accordingly, creation is confounding too. Each diverse discovery deems it more marvelous to grasp. Many scientists have reluctantly relented to the theory of Intelligent Design.

That’s why, alongside those facts, we also need faith.

Lying inexplicably at the intersection of those two essential elements is an exceptional endowment: the intermittent insight of our dreams.