Last night, I drove a stick shift for the first time in approximately a year. I learned how to drive in a manual transmission, so the general premise of the thing wasn’t lost on me; however, I was surprised how difficult it was to shift into various gears, because, being the vehicle was somewhat older, the first couple of gears were worn out.
This aspect, along with toting a heavy piano in the smallish pickup truck, made controlling the vehicle challenging. Coming off of a stop was comical, and turning showed the truck’s frailty when a large item is in the bed.
Humans, especially males, like control. I like control a lot. When I’m holding a steering wheel or using my laptop, I like to believe I have mastery over my machine. The familiarity of past experiences is all I have; any newness or alterations require me to make adjustments, or worse, force me into loss of control altogether.
Since the beginning, humans have been control freaks. We’ve developed simple and complex instruments to manipulate the landscape around us, assembled and conducted destructive armies of men to draw blood and borders and establish ideological supremacy over others, and searched the depths of the earth and the breadth of the universe to contain their attributes and write them in tomes, their respective intricacies and vastness conquered with a pen or a printing press.
It rains, and from our third grade training, we understand it’s precipitation from condensation of the clouds in the sky. Later, we understand that climate and fronts and the collision of air masses create particular types of weather, that some of these patterns are indigenous to regions in respect to their proximity to the equator and the ocean’s orientation around them.
So we grab our umbrella or put on a jacket and head to work, and we have a grasp on our work because we’re familiar with it, and, in most cases, we can control the output. But we can only shield ourselves from the rain. At least, to this date, we have no jurisdiction over the weather. The rain will come, and it’s wet.
And if we could control the weather in some dystopian future, we cannot somehow harness nature’s rage without brutal consequences, mostly unto ourselves, and we cannot change the rotation and orbit of this earth. It’s likely we will never be able to transcribe the entirety of the universe’s attributes into books. Despite man’s strivings, there are limitations to our influence. We prolong life, but cannot prevent death. We construct towers and fortresses, but cannot repel the will and rage of men to destroy them nor the ferocity of earth’s tempests to preserve them. We can’t “make” crops — perhaps in a laboratory, but only in the construct of natural laws, and not by our own innovation and contrivance.
How so, then, do we delude ourselves for our entire lives, ignoring the supremacy of God? His defining attributes are clearly spelled out, if not in the Bible, in the aspects of His nature. I read recently in some news feed an argument about why God didn’t earmark the land and spell out His sovereignty in a blatant format if He wanted humans to chase after Him. This proved convincing on the surface, but upon any level of introspection, looked hollow — God’s imprint is our existence, the stability of our heartbeat in the midst of great instability.
It’s the fact that I can pick up a rock, and it won’t crumble in my hands, that my lungs will filter the oxygen out from unseen air when I take a breath, that my child will wake up and smile at me this morning because she loves me, and for no other measurable reason.
O You who hear prayer,
To You all flesh will come.
Does not all things suggest God’s direct influence, and warrant humanity pursuing Him? No level of complicated rhetoric or presentation of compelling evidence is more profound than simple observation, in a moment when you pull away the abstraction and examine the miracle of it is.
One God, supreme over all things, is calling out to us. Please, notice.