Aldabra, Indian Ocean
In the quiet of a day, the wind blew through the mountains, leaving a trail of howling sounds behind the valleys…
As the water flows down the little cliff, sashing sound is heard around the corner…
Up in the sky, the scene below is so peaceful yet magnificent. There is nothing distinctive heard, but the air around feels just so light…
I have much wonders, about how the spot there feels like, how the corner there sounds like, how the area there looks like … and how is the atmosphere there really like.
I can’t tell, because I haven’t been to all of the places yet. But this I know, that they’re there. They’re all here on this earth we all share.
Is there a distinction between which red on a rainbow mountain is redder than the red underneath the sea on a coral? Is there a howling wind that is louder than the other side of the mountain? Is there an ocean too deep, deeper than the other square feet next to it?
May be. May be not.
Well, where are the images from? Are they real? Were they free?
Well, you may not know, I’ve just made a slip (mistake) and had actually broken one of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20) – Thou shall not steal. And yes, I did.
But why is the nature freely present, but the image isn’t?
As a matter of fact, it was once upon a time. I saved the images from the net, and be literally just mesmerized and in awe of the beauty of the nature. I don’t know if I still have any undeclared items now. I’ve checked as thoroughly as I could. I also don’t know how many times have I done it or for long have I kept the images.
But who taught me that slip? I guess, either by my naiveness to the complexity of the world, or just being unaware that I could sin.
A complicated world to be in. A person can be boxed into an everyday rushing and struggling to survive and at the same time, to meet the various demands from all angles.
Or otherwise, be attracted to the glittering stuffs and get hammered for reasons unknown yet. To a point where one can merely differentiate: What is a need? Which is a want?
What is the value of time? Who makes that call on the different values on timing and schedules?
The billing of an hour can be too much or too little, depending on who is or are paying, and who is getting paid. What then is time? Every relationship is “valued”, in a sense that it is pre-valued before being made. How valuable are relationships? Is the more valuable it is, the more frequent the get-togethers are? But close yet distant?
What is “value” in essence?
I was once asked that question when I was in college, sitting in a theater hall as a college “kid”. There was a row of guest professionals who were sharing their success stories, while I was sitting in the hall with my friends listening in the workshop. One of the guests posed a question to the crowd, “If someone were to ask you what is your value today? What do you think?” Well, naively, I shot up my hand but I have no idea why exactly I did that. I was hesitating because I sensed something was out of sync in the air. “Honor, considerate, trustworthy …” were the values popped into my head, for real.
Shortly, perceiving that I was hesitating, he followed up explaining that it is important to know how much one’s worth for a job position.
Who gave me life? Did I seek for permission to be living?
When I was growing, I grew with a dialect. And soon, more languages were learned. As for now, I don’t even know which is my daily language. I speak one in the day, and the other the other hour, depending on which is more comfortable with the person across. The more changes I adjusted myself to, the more adjusted I am to being a foreigner in this world. As I briefly reflect, where did the words come from? Most of them make sense, and some of them shouldn’t belong there. The good, the bad, the ugly… Some were lost to time, some were newly invented. What is language, by the way? It is so connected to one’s conscience. Anyway, I don’t know the exact trails and mazes of languages.
Why is nature vividly present somewhere on this earth? But I have not seen before. How is the outer space so wide but this earth is so naturally delicate? Where are the places that the nature is so orderly alive and the complexity of this world has not yet tainted?
How did it even exist in the first place? I am seriously posing this question. Not a rhetoric.
If there is a Creator, not just an intelligent one, but a relatable, orderly, magnificent yet personal One, where is He? The bible describes of the One who is transcendent yet imminent. He made the heavens and the earth, the stars and planets, the plants and vegetations, the animals and living creatures, and ultimately a man and a woman. It seems like it is pointless with an expanse as wide as the universe, and as deep as the core of the earth were mankind not made in the first place, according to the bible. Or suppose mankind was just formed lingering here and there across the distances on the earth, finding something to fill up life?
Who is God? An intelligent designer? I think He is more than I can describe, but is personal and relatable that man were made in his image, and in man’s own image in the first place.
But if man is made in the image of God, how may languages does God know? If God speaks only certain languages, how can He be a transcendent yet imminent God in the light of this entire universe? Should God change, like that of a man who changes his mind? Should God deceive man, so as to keep man from being restored to what is true, for God himself is the Truth and the Light? Or that man listens but does not hear, or looks but does not see while God is ever present and available to be sought for and called upon?
The bible speaks of YHWH, referring to the One and Only who says, “I AM”. He is The LORD God who is the first and the last, the beginning and the end. He is self-existing and eternal on His own. In Him, there is no end, for He pre-exists and is everlasting. I think the universe would only make sense when it reflects this very attribute of God.
If God is relatable and personal, how so? I guess John 1 describes…
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it…
…The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
And the Word became flesh, full of grace and truth, and dwelt among man two thousand years ago. No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known. And His name is, Jesus Christ. (1)
Gift of Life
But why did he even come to this world? How is he even relatable and personal? (pause)
If you were a parent, what is your feeling or connection towards your children? If you were even a grandparent, how deeper more, is your ties towards your grandchildren?
Imagine God, who knew since the beginning of creation that man could by choice, turn his back against Him, and yet still made man into being.
Even man were disconnected from Him, He still acted to restore the gap. In fact, by His disdain for sin and nature of Holiness, He could have scraped off creation, (including spirits, but not in our topic today). Should we think that He needs creation to accompany or exalt Him? He is not lonely at all, but is all self-sufficient and glorious as He is, the Trinity. As a matter of fact, it is His will that He extends His communion to mankind through the act of creation.
Well, what exactly was God doing?
In creation, God extended the expanse of the universe and made all the great and small things on earth. At the same time, He had also meticulously and wonderfully woven every human being even in his mother’s womb.
Even before one was born, his life has been written in His book of life, waiting for one to step up to his destiny and purposes. But because of the Fall into sin in the Garden of Eden, the first man — Adam had separated himself from God, and passed on the root of sin down through the generations. The Fall was misaligned with the order of God, or to be exact, in reality. However, the disorder was not obvious. Only through the giving of the Law – Ten Commandments would one’s transgression stand out to the person. Hence, the Law was not given to entitle a person as righteous, or the right to judge others, but to discern and recognize one’s need for forgiveness and redemption.
Imagine God again, as a spouse, or a parent, or a grandparent who would take upon himself whatever that is harming His loved one(s). Now, would you not also take the place in shielding your loved one(s) from harms too, because you foresee and you entrust the good future to them? Or do you suppose God is more interested in the lowly’s worshipping Him? Even so, He deserves to be praised and exalted! Because He had gone lowlier than man in Sheol after death on the Cross. As a matter of fact, God is not self-seeking nor proud at all.
Jesus Christ who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God something to cling to, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross. (2)
Speaking of when I saved the copyrighted images without permission, I had already sinned. What more, the law of the universe is what it is, the price of sin is death. And no one is sinless and pure enough to die in man’s place, but only God himself. That’s why the Son, Jesus stepped in in our place, so that we can be reconciled with God the Father through him. It was that separation of the Son with the Father (triune communion), and the resurrection as carried out by the Holy Spirit that reconciled man back into the communion with God as it was in the Garden of Eden.
It is a free gift; a promise at God’s expense. Just as the nature was freely given, Jesus by his nature also gave himself up freely for man to be reconciled with God.
One day, soon, the restoration of the order of creation will take place. And it is one’s choice to respond to one’s destiny. Imagine one’s report-to-person has planned his assignments for the appointed schedule, and it is in his position to accomplish them. Or imagine a relationship between spouses, or parent-child, or grandparent-children. That is the intended growing relationship that God has in store for all of His children. It is still as it is. Jesus loves you!
# But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: that if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with your heart you believe and are justified, and with your mouth you confess and are saved. — Romans 10
# Lifetime lessons in giving and in love. Relationships worth the work!
1. John 1
2. Philippians 2
1. 15 Greatest Natural Wonders of the Earth (c)The Viral Network (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-yxhI4Aos0M).
2. Rainbow Mountains Sandstone Minerals Colored Wallpaper (c)Odette Baudouin (http://wpnature.com/rainbow-mountains-sandstone-minerals-colored-wallpaper-free/).
3. Aurora Borealis, Iceland, Kirkjufell, Northern Light (c)Wallpapers4screen (http://wallpapers4screen.com/landscapes/aurora-borealis-iceland-kirkjufell-northern-lights-8248).
4. Aldabra (c)Relatively Interesting (http://www.relativelyinteresting.com/12-natural-wonders-of-the-world/).
5. Jesus Paid in Full-Crown of Thorns (c)Omniallinfinitude (http://www.omniallinfinitude.com/journey7/2013/02/13/bright-white-and-right-10-journal-7-5-the-back-story/jesus-paid-in-full-crown-of-thorns/).
# What is “Time”: Revelation 1…