What angels invented these splendid ornaments,
these rich conveniences, this ocean of air above,
this ocean of water beneath, this firmament of earth between?
this zodiac of lights, this tent of dropping clouds,
this striped coat of climates, this fourfold year?
The real miracle is not getting healed or surviving an accident but living with five senses on a planet where we experience strawberries, hummingbirds, sunsets, waterfalls, penguins, butterflies, ice cream, romance, roses, humor, chocolate, wine, kittens, coffee, and tropical beaches. Einstein got it right: “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is.”
One of the deepest and strangest of all human moods is the mood which will suddenly strike us perhaps in a garden at night, or deep in sloping meadows, the feeling that every flower and leaf has just uttered something stupendously direct and important, and that we have by a prodigy of imbecility not heard or understood it. There is a certain poetic value, and that a genuine one, in this sense of having missed the full meaning of things. There is beauty, not only in wisdom, but in this dazed and dramatic ignorance.
What brings life meaning? Three components: wonder, truth, love, and security. In our infancy, the sense of wonder; in our youth, the understanding of truth; in our middle years, the experience of love; and in our old-age, the confidence of security. And we have found out through life that many of the things we give to each other as security do not really add up to much. We want something that goes beyond these three score years and ten…
The older you get the more it takes to fill your heart with wonder, and only God is big enough to fill it. Meaning comes from wonder, truth, love and security. And God, who is the perpetual novelty, who gave us a Son who is the way, the truth, and the life, who loved you and gave himself for you on the cross, and says, “Because I live, you shall live also,” that’s when meaning comes in, when these four components deal with the questions of origin, meaning, morality, and destiny, and bring that coherence into your life.
Worship is an act of awe. Artists who have detached themselves from a religious grounding, don’t fly but merely float away. Their creativity has no reference point. They try to be original. They try to be different. They try to shock. But endless shock merely makes us senseless. We have lost our true appreciation of surprise because we have the purpose of creativity precisely backwards. “The function of imagination,” says Chesterton, “is not to make strange things settled, so much as to make settled things strange; not so much to make wonders facts as to make facts wonders.
–Dale Ahlquist, G.K. Chesterton and the Use of the Imagination
Artwork: Toil Today Dream Tonight, by Vincent Van Gogh