Sunday, February 28, 2010

The more we learn, the greater the mystery

For many the sheer beauty of creation accelerates them into the presence of an ultimate, majestic artist, the Creator.
Yet for many the sheer agony caused by creation acts as a blockade; or even convinces them that there is no higher power, no great designer.

The tiniest detail of a flower or the overwhelming monstrosity of a tsunami?
A stunning sunset or a devastating earthquake?
'WHICH IS IT?' we scream, bewildered and helpless.

We live in this tension, torn between tears of joy and tears of agony.

Apparently, the blood of a foetus does not enter the lungs. But at the moment of birth, something amazing happens. 'Suddenly all blood must pass through the lungs to receive oxygen because now the baby is breathing air. In a flash, a flap descends like a curtain, deflecting the blood flow ... After performing that one act, the muscle gradually dissolves ... Without this split-second adjustment, the baby could never survive outside the womb.' (Yancey, 2001)

Do we look at the miracle of new life, or look at a miscarriage?
Do we look at the remarkable workings of our eyes, or look at a crippling disease?
Do we look at our thumb as Newton did, or look at our appendix?

Because the more we experience, the more we open our eyes to the world, the more we learn, the greater the mystery.

I mean, how on earth do I wrap my mind around the breathtakingly enormous universe and then begin to contemplate the jaw-droppingly miniscule atom, or even quark? Even at GCSE I learnt about the electromagnetic spectrum, in itself evidence that there is more to life than meets the eye. But now I read that scientists - 'string theorists' - reckon our reality is formed of at least 11 dimensions!

In the final chapter to a massive 1000 page book confidently entitled, 'A Complete Guide to the Laws of the Universe' Roger Penrose writes 'exactly what is really going on remains a mystery.'
Which amuses me. He then ultimately concludes, 'Perhaps what we need is some subtle change in perspective - something that we all have missed.'


In one of the oldest stories ever told a good, wealthy man called Job is stripped of everything. And in the midst of his unbearable suffering Job screams WHY!
Then into the chaos, God speaks. The response is awesome. Read it in full here, it is a remarkably stunning and detailed depiction of creation.
But God offers no answers.
God responds with questions.

In one of the oldest stories ever told Job is left utterly speechless.
The mystery remains, the mystery deepens, but his questions are no more.

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