Out From Under the Umbrella

playing in the rain

Awe and Wonder…Wonder and Awe

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In the beginning Godcreated the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; anddarkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon theface of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. AndGod saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from thedarkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. Andthe evening and the morning were the first day.

And God said, Let therebe a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters fromthe waters. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were underthe firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. AndGod called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were thesecond day.

And God said, Let thewaters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry landappear: and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth; and the gatheringtogether of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good. And Godsaid, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruittree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth:and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed afterhis kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after hiskind: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were thethird day.

And God said, Let therebe lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; andlet them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: And let thembe for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: andit was so. And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day,and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. And God setthem in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, And to ruleover the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: andGod saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

And God said, Let thewaters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl thatmay fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. And God created greatwhales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forthabundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God sawthat it was good. And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, andfill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth. And theevening and the morning were the fifth day.

And God said, Let theearth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creepingthing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. And God made thebeast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thingthat creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

And God said, Let usmake man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over thefish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and overall the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. SoGod created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male andfemale created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Befruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and havedominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over everyliving thing that moveth upon the earth. And God said, Behold, I have given youevery herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and everytree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be formeat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and toevery thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have givenevery green herb for meat: and it was so. And God saw every thing that he hadmade, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were thesixth day.                                                                                    Genesis 1 (KJV)

In the beginning God created.  He spoke and it came to be.  From the power of His voice were formed vast deserts, towering mountains, deep seas,  the warmth of the sun, the gravitational pull of the moon which perfectly synchronizes the tides.  He painted rich sunrises and sunsets with a whisper.  Each and every plant and creature designed within the imagination of a Holy God, culminating in the  pièce de résistance of all creation; mankind. 


This is what I believed for most of my life.  Even before I was a “true believer” I believed God created the world by speaking it into being.  And I was in awe of the wonder of it all.  This is what I was taught in VBS and in Sunday School.  In the mind of a child was sparked amazement and wonderment that demanded reverence and admiration for the one to whom this was all attributed; Almighty God. 


And I thought about how significant we were in His grand scheme of things, creating everything else first and then deciding that without mankind and a suitable help meet creation was incomplete.  It was all for us that He had done this wonderful and amazing thing.  Part of becoming a Christian was realizing just how special we were that God would sacrifice His only begotten because of His unsurpassed love for us.  


When I began to doubt, no, disbelieve is a better word, I thought I’d never look at creation the same way again.  I used to peer upon a beautifully painted sunrise or sunset and think in wonderment, “If indeed that is God’s throw rug, what do you suppose His throne room looks like?”. 

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4 thoughts on “Awe and Wonder…Wonder and Awe

  1. I think doubt and loss of faith can still be compatible with wonder. As we discover new corners of reality — new life forms, quasars, black holes, the nooks and crannies of subatomic particles, the fabric of spacetime itself — we realize that the universe is far more vast than we could ever imagine. Knowing that humans are not the center of it all, that these wonders exist for their own sake, only amplifies their beauty for me.Speaking for myself, I had difficulty appreciating the world's wonder as a believer. The world was transient and corrupt, whereas God was eternal and "pure." The universe was restricted to known landscapes and creatures popping into existence over a week. All that changed when I lost my faith. The idea of a vast universe forming over billions of year, stars and planets forming through titanic processes, almost infinite combinations of life forming and changing over eons — that blew my mind open.

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  2. Me too D'Ma. Me too.

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  3. And now, standing before the almighty Wizard of Oz, we are in awe. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain… ;-)It hadn't really occurred to me until just now, but the Wizard of Oz could be a great religious analogy. :-)Anyway, I'm like Ahab now.But you know what always stood out as strange to me? Exactly that God spoke things into existence. Why not just will them into existence? Speaking means that God first had to create language, and some construct which could understand that language (like the Matrix) in order for create-by-command to work.

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  4. As I recall, over time – even when I was young and very much a believer – the thought that God could accomplish anything merely by speaking it made me all the more irritated by the enormous amount of evil and suffering in the world. That often left me angry with God, even before I lost my faith. That is why the largely disinterested God of Deism appealed to me as I started my journey to where I am today.

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