Thursday, 26 January 2012

I don't know how you did it (but you did)

Charles Spurgeon said this:

'In the very beginning, when this great universe lay in the mind of God, like unborn forests in the acorn-cup; long ere the echoes walked the solitudes; before the mountains were brought forth; and long ere the light flashed through the sky, God loved his chosen creatures. Before there was creatureship - when the aether was not fanned by the angel's wing; when space itself had not an existence; when there was nothing save God alone; even then, in that loneliness of Deity, and in that deep quiet and profundity, His love moved for His chosen. Their names were written on His heart, and then were they dear to His soul.'
From 'The Daily Help' Devotional

How beautiful that is. How wonderful.  Of course, only you know if it's true - the bit about the loneliness of Deity, the aether and the non-existent space and all that - only you know what is what. The rest of us just speculate and do experiments and postulate and argue. 

Boy, do we argue. 

We have theories coming out of our ears.  The Big Bang, and the Steady State, and Plasma Cosmology, and Mbrane theories. We have evolution and intelligent design and who knows what else. Sometimes someone even stand up and tells us that their theory is proven; we have the answer! - it's a fact, no need to keep on searching - and then some time later - months, years, generations, we find out that they were wrong after all. It seems to me that the only thing we ever prove is that we don't know

But do you know what? It doesn't matter. 

It doesn't matter to me, anyway. I don't know if it's because I don't have a brain for physics or mathematics or astronomy or philosophy or science in general, but I don't really mind how it all came about. It doesn't matter to me if you made the universe in six days and rested on the seventh, or if you made it happen by drawing forth slugs from a primordial soup and turning them gradually into human beings. I don't understand, I don't know and I don't mind. 

I just know that it was you. When challenged, of course, over the 'I know' assertion I don't really have an answer. Maybe I should work on one. Maybe I should just shrug and say that it's faith.

I have faith.

I believe in you. I look around me and I cannot for the life of me see another way other than 'It was you'. When I look at nature I see you. When I look at tiny babies and children and other people and the elderly I see you. When I look in the mirror (on a good day) I see you. I see you all around me. When I stop to listen I hear you. Who can look at the stars or the sunrise or the frost or the vastness of the sea or a mountain range and not see you?  I know, people do. But those people search for the origin of the universe; I don't. 

I don't need to know because whatever theory is the current favourite, we don't know. 

I don't need to know how you did it. I'm happy that you did.

I'm going to quote the wonderful Margaret Silf again. In the opening pages of her book 'The Gift of Prayer: Embracing the Sacred in the Everyday' she says:

'When we look out through a telescope into the far reaches 
of our universe,
We see a vast reality beyond ourselves,
and beyond the reaches of our minds
or even our imagination - 
yet we are part of that reality.
We belong to it.
We live and move and have our being within it.

When we gaze into a microscope, at just a single cell 
in our own body,
we also see an immensity of life and interrelatedness
beyond our wildest dreams,
a world of it's own, a minuscule microcosm of that
vast outer reality.
It lives and moves and has it's being in us.
It's a living part of who we are.'

You are in every part of us. You're in our DNA; you're in the building blocks of our very being. Your hand touched each one of us. You brought it all to life.

You loved us before it all began. My name, my name was written on your heart. It's too much for me to understand, but my heart swells with joy at the idea of it, far out of my grasp. You knew me before you made me. Before you put the world together you knew me. You knew who I was, what I would become, that I would need to be rescued, that I would hand you back my heart one day. That I would sit here with cold fingers on a January day and try to find words adequate to describe the job of creation that you brought forth just because you wanted to. 

So, as the psalm says, where can I go from your presence? You are here. There is nowhere because you are bigger than everything. You are bigger than the universe, or the universes, whatever. You are outside time. You never forget. You never change. You don't need to evolve. 

Do you look down on our confusion and our need to know and our gropings in the darkness and our assertions and squabbles and our self-conscious posturings and smile indulgently? Or do you find it offensive that so many are determined to find the thing that disproves you? Do you wonder at our short-sightedness? My Grandma used to say, 'There's none as blind as those who won't see.'  Maybe that's it.

We won't see. Like children who cover their eyes when you want to show them an unwelcome truth. Or cover their ears when you call 'It's bedtime!'

Well.  What is there to say? The scientists will carry on searching, because that's what they do. That's what they should do. I don't think it's wrong to question and to seek to know, to understand. I just challenge the assumption that science and faith are mutually exclusive. I'm no expert. It's just that my faith doesn't hinge on how it all happened, or when. It's the 'why?' that's important.

Margaret Silf says:

'Whether we look outwards or inwards, 
everything belongs.
Everything is in a relationship with everything else.
This reality is what many people would call 'God';
God who holds everything in being,
continually impelling all creation in the direction of Life.

Prayer is our response to this reality,
our expression of our deep desire to be in right relationship
with it's Source and Sustainer.
This in turn can lead us into right relationship 
with each other and with the world.'

I don't know how you did it, but you did. And because you did, I give you praise. I praise you for creation, for imagination, for each breath that I take. I do indeed want to know you. To walk with you. 

Creator God. You love me. That's the real miracle. 

' that deep quiet and profundity, His love moved for His chosen.'

 Thankyou Father, for that love. I love you too.



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