Saturday Sermon: A closer look at the wonders of God
The older I get, the more I stand in awe at the wonders of God's world.
Every day or two, I become aware of some significant element of creation that I had never noticed before. Recently, at the doctor's office, I was impressed about the human skeleton I saw on a wall poster.
I pondered about how the skeleton was formed in the mother's womb and developed as the body did - evenly, in perfect proportion to the rest of the body.
Perhaps it is because I am retired that I have time to ponder such wonders, yet anyone can take a few seconds to look into these things. The trick is to have a mind disposed toward them. Ezekiel the prophet speaks of those who have eyes to see, but see not, and ears to hear, but hear not.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning put it like this: "Earth's crammed with heaven, and every common bush afire with God, but only he who sees, takes off his shoes; the rest sit around it and pluck blackberries."
Children accept things naturally without much thought and perhaps even on into adulthood. The wise parent will instill a sense of wonder in their children. A teacher who can instill a sense of wonder in a child can open up to him or her a career of medicine, engineering, philosophy, electronics, religion or even poetry.
We travel far and wide to view all the majestic sights but may not consider that all this was formed by a wise and benevolent creator.
Oftentimes, the most amazing things are right around us, but up until now we hadn't really noticed. For example, the human body is full of wondrous functions - an inner ear that gives us balance, things in the blood that fight disease.
A thermostat that keeps the body temperature at or about 98.6 degrees. Hands that are marvelously constructed to grasp and hold. A heart and lungs that perform automatically. There are hundreds more. I cannot imagine a doctor who did not have a faith in God.
In 1958, John Clover Monsma published a book titled "The Evidence of God in an Expanding Universe." As editor, he published the writings of 40 American scientists who wrote of their awe at God's creation in fields of agriculture, botany, astronomy, entomology, medicine, chemistry, physiology, mathematics and several others.
Job 38-42 has a particular appeal to me. After Job had gone through a devastating time in his life and begins to question God, God speaks to him of the wonders of nature. After a long dialogue, Job responds, "Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know."
We cannot know or understand all of the intricacies of God's world, but we can come to terms with some of them if we have eyes to see.
It is not as though awareness is a chore; it is a positive pleasure, and as some have said, it just might lead one to faith in God.
Raymond Smith is a lay minister and former President of Strong Families of Victoria.