God’s Glory Writ Large…and How We Miss It.
Posted by Brian
The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.
LHP’s blog is about writing fiction. For fantasy and sci-fi lovers, that almost always means world creation–pouring ourselves into a new universe, planet, country, or characters who become our way of communicating good, meaningful stories to our readers. As Tolkien has observed, we are emulating the Great Creator in microcosm. All authors expect others to see our hand in our creations and to appreciate our creativity for what it is. It is ironic, then, that we often find it impossible to see the evidence of God in the world around us. That is, perhaps, because we’ve replaced His glory with our own poor imitations.
Our culture seems to be increasingly deaf to the music and obtuse to the poetry writ into the very fabric of reality. We look at it all and walk away more convinced than ever that humanity is the measure of all things, the final judge of reality, and the author of all that is meaningful and significant. How can this be?
As I mentioned in my Friday post, I’ve been learning quite a bit about life since I’ve taken up hiking in the Virginia mountains. With each trip, I hear more of the wordless speech mentioned by David in the psalm above. I am reminded of who I am and my place in the universe is put into perspective with increasing clarity. I am overwhelmed by the beauty and power instilled into everything, and I wonder how I missed it all, just a few months before!
There are a number of reasons, but a simple one occurred to me as I stood on a peak today. The average westerner is brought into the world immersed in the works of humanity, and we can live our entire lives “safely” inside the cacophony that humanity creates. I spend my days surrounded by things that testify to the creativity and ingenuity of man–the bed I slept in, the car I drive, the building I work in, the music I listen to, the computer I use, the television I watch, etc. etc.
While all of those things are interesting and worthwhile in their own way, they pale in comparison to being exposed to the creativity with which Nature is rife. But for most of us, we never realize how insignificant human accomplishments truly are because we never see beyond them. To beggars who have never tasted a feast, a hard crumb with only a little mold is a thing to be envied.
Worse, all the noise constantly reminds us of just how “good”, how “ingenious” we humans are. That of course is something we never really tire of hearing and therefore there is always someone willing to take up the tired chant, and someone else ready to praise them for it! That has the same effect as good propaganda–we never think to question the status quo when “everyone” says that the status quo is all we ever need experience. It becomes the simple and “obvious” choice to worship humanity, when we have never been exposed to anything greater or higher to worship. (And that makes us easy prey for tyrants.)
As you think about it, make an effort to hear the Word writ large in the world around you. Watch the sky when you step outside; listen to the wind and the birds; take a look at how intricate a tree or a plant is. Even better, make some plans to go somewhere humanity can’t get in the way! Once you really understand it, the world just won’t be the same…but that’s a good thing.
About BrianI am a history professor and author living with my family in the Virginia Mountains. It's hard to improve on a life like this!
Posted on October 14, 2012, in Brian Melton, J.R.R. Tolkien, Meditations, Photography, Social Commentary and tagged creativity, hiking, mountains, photography, religion christianity. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.