Don't ask me why - my brain just wanders, I suppose - but I was contemplating the question the other day, "If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?" You know the question - it's a classic.
Of course, there's the scientific point behind the pondering: the concept of the precise definition of "sound" and its need for an ear to hear the physical vibrations for anything to qualify as such.
But, really, I had never stopped to consider just how vain we, as humans, have to be to even ask such a preposterous question. As if our ears are the only ones to quantify a "sound" when the God of all creation, the very maker of that tree, is always listening. In fact, the very waves of air sent out by such an incident are a sure cry of God's glory over Creation.
I realized, then, in my mental meanderings, that our entire view of ourselves is so over-inflated that we tend to believe the earth was put into motion for us alone. We see ourselves on one side and Creation on the other. When, the truth of the matter is, we are merely a part of all this glorious craftsmanship of God.
And when we shift our mindset, putting us on the same plane (though, yes, at a slightly higher altitude, recognizing ourselves as caretakers) as all God created in those six days at the beginning of all we know, there is a whole lot more that shifts, too.
When we recognize the earth was not made for us or for our pleasure, but that it was put into existence alongside of us to bring glory to the hands of its Creator, we see that the falling tree does not make its sound for our ears.
The sunset is not merely for our eyes, the rain is not only for the feeling of a drop on our skin, or even just to hydrate our crops. God can, and does, create these things so we may take enjoyment and be satisfied, but the enjoyment is not for us. The satisfaction is given so we may turn our gratitude back to Him, to give our Lord the glory and the praise for His goodness.
But by the same token, when we recognize Creation was not made for us, we can more clearly see the bad things that happen to good people are not necessarily punishment or neglect on the part of our Creator. Just as the tree withers, the antelope is devoured or the thunder rages, so we, too, must endure hardship, not because God has turned against us but because these, too, bring glory to Him. As so eloquently stated by C.S. Lewis, pain is God's megaphone to the world.
Because when we recognize that this world does not exist for our pleasure, we might be able to accept the pain with a little more grace. We might recognize that this difficulty, too, has its purpose in this grand scale of all Creation in which we participate. And it is our response to these seemingly un-endurable moments that has the ability to shout a declaration of beauty in the pain that can only come through God.
Still trying to figure it all out and still knowing I can postulate on this premise with all surety without my ever having experienced such unimaginable pain as I know to be possible, I will always and ever know - my God reigns. He is sovereign. And all is for His glory.
633. Sunday afternoons, a day to rest
634. A bleary-eyed girl emerging from her bedroom to snuggle in Momma's lap after a confusing dream
635. The easy giggles of an infant.
636. Baby drool
637. The hard-earned giggles of a toddler.
Photo of the Day:
Daddy lifted Emmett up to touch the ceiling. As you can tell, he may have loved it.