Out From Under the Umbrella

playing in the rain

The Wonder Of It All


I used to think thoughts like:  “If this fantastically painted sunset is God’s throw rug His throne room must be truly something to behold”, “Just look at all the colors on that mountainside in the fall, it’s as if God painted each leaf with His own fingertip”.  My every thought about nature and life was encompassed by God and His hand in it’s creation. Naturally when I began to doubt I wondered if I could ever see nature and life with the same amazement and wonder as I had.  Would it have the same meaning?  Would there be a point to our existence?  Moreover would there be a point to my existence?

Some of those who enter the Dark Night of the Soul have come away nihilists. They feel empty, depressed, unfulfilled, and unsatisfied.  I can understand why, when everything you were before was ensconced in belief in YAHWEH,  nihilism would set in.  With your worldview shattered you ponder the meaning of it all.  Agnosticism/Atheism leaves something…well…missing.  Just like any other habitual practice, the void left unfilled creates a vacuum, a black hole, an empty space.  I can see why many who travel this road have lost their moral bearings without their God to hold them accountable.  This is the road I began to travel.  This is the route which can lead to self-destruction. 

I did not get very far down this road when I realized something very important. My life has the meaning I choose to give it.  It has no less meaning without a God.  That empty void is filled with family, friends and love – real love that I choose to give, not fake, forced love that I’m commanded to give – and living.  It is filled with watching my adorable three-year-old nephew and my precious Carmen and Alison grow and learn.  It is filled with work and travel and future plans.  It is filled with living in the moment. 

As for accountability; oh, I’m still accountable – not to an invisible God who will smite me for the least infraction of the rules – to my fellow man and to future generations.  While I was caught up in my God I didn’t give much thought to preserving this beautiful planet for future generations. I was going to be raptured at any moment.  Jesus was going to reign for a thousand years and after that there would be a new heaven and a new earth and this earth was going to be thrown into the inferno.   This beautiful earth:

Over the billions of years were formed vast deserts, towering mountains, deep seas,  the warmth of the sun, the gravitational pull of the moon which perfectly synchronizes the tides, richly painted sunrises and sunsets.  This is a measure of time which my finite mind can only attempt to grasp.  Forces of nature not only on earth, but within our vast universe that I can only try to imagine have sculpted this magnificent planet.  Speaking of this vast universe: it’s millions of galaxies – of which ours is but a small one, are revelations of just how tiny and insignificant we are.   Mankind special?  Special indeed – in our own minds.
Will I ever look at nature and life with the same amazement and wonder as I had?  Hardly.  I look at it with infinitely more.  I am in awe of the wonder of it all. 


7 thoughts on “The Wonder Of It All

  1. Excellent post! I so agree with you that life has the meaning we give it. Your post also puts me in mind of something Jiddu Krishnamurti said. He began by pointing out that holy men the world over have taught people that appreciating feminine beauty is incompatible with being spiritual. Now, I didn't grow up Christian, but I grew up in a god-drunk small town, and that was one of the ideas I absorbed from the atmosphere. Krishnamurti went on to say that to deny feminine beauty is to deny life. It is as much a denial of life as is denying the beauty of a sunrise or a flower. So, in that case, I think you have an example of how religion can actually decrease one's appreciation of life.


  2. @Paul Sunstone,Around here men aren't so much taught not to appreciate the feminine form. Oh, they are taught that it's naughty, but the women are chided more for being immodest. It's a woman's fault men lust. She dared to bare…well…her collar bone. When I was married my husband picked most of my clothes. For the most part I was covered from my neck to my feet. I could show a little elbow. :)===================================================@Zoe,Isn't it nice to be able to appreciate nature for the wonder that it is without having to assign a deity to it's existence? Somehow for me, it makes it all that much more beautiful and amazing.===================================================@CD,Hallelujah! :D==================================================Thanks, Ahab!


  3. I see, D'Ma. Where I grew up in the Midwest, you would get some of that blame the woman attitude, but perhaps not too much. I can only recall one to two families that dressed unusually modest because they believed women were responsible for men's feelings.Nevertheless, the attitude you've described has always intrigued me. I can't reconcile it with taking responsibility for oneself. It's too much like the men dump the responsibility for their own feelings onto others.


  4. Nicely put. Definitely a greater appreciation from me too!


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