Grace Notes

Weekly Devotions from Landmark Baptist Church

Pizzazz! (3.10)


This past weekend I one again got to enjoy the outdoors for awhile.  Melissa and I spent a few nights by ourselves staying at a house in Bath on the Back Creek.  The weather was beautiful while we were there – clear, blue skies and mild temperatures.  One morning I went out and took some pictures of the river – smooth as a glass mirror – and the trees surrounding it, radiant with vibrant hues from across the color spectrum.  Saturday morning we even spent a few hours out on the kayak paddling up and down the creek, admiring the birds and the beauty of God’s creation.

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I also got a chance to read one of my favorite authors, Annie Dillard, and I found this excerpt I want to share with you in regards to the creativity of God:

Along with intricacy, there is another aspect of the creation that has impressed me in the course of my wanderings.  Look again at the horsehair worm, a yard long and thin as a thread, whipping through the duck pond, or tangled with others of its kind in a slithering Gordian knot.  Look at an overwintering ball of buzzing bees, or a turtle under ice breathing through its pumping cloaca.  Look at the fruit of the Osage orange tree, big as a grapefruit, green, convoluted as any human brain.  Or look at a rotifer’s translucent gut: something orange and powerful is surging up and down like a piston, and something small and round is spinning in place like a flywheel.  Look, in short, at practically anything – the coot’s feet, the mantis’s face, a banana, the human ear – and see that not only did the creator create everything, but that he is apt to create anything.  He’ll stop at nothing.

There is no one standing [there] with a blue pencil to say, “Now that one, there, is absolutely ridiculous, and I won’t have it.”

The world is full of creatures that for some reason some stranger to us than others, and libraries are full of books describing them – hagfish, platypuses, lizardlike pangolins four feet long with bright green, lapped scares like umbrella-tree leaves on a bush hut roof, butterflies emerging from anthills, spiderlings wafting through the air clutching tiny silken balloons, horseshoe crabs…the creator creates…he creates everything and anything.

Of all known forms of life, only about 10% are still living today.  All other forms – fantastic plants, ordinary plants, living animals with unimaginable various wings, tails, teeth, brains – are utterly and forever gone.  That is a great many forms that have been created.  Multiplying ten times the number of living forms today yields a profusion that is quiet beyond what I consider thinkable.  Why so many forms?   Why not just that one hydrogen atom?  The creator goes off on one wild, specific tangent after another, or millions simultaneously, with an exuberance that would seem to be unwarranted, and with an abandoned energy sprung from an unfathomable font.  What is going on here?  The point of the dragonfly’s terrible lip, the giant water bug, birdsong, or the beautiful dazzle and flash of sunlighted minnows, is not that it all fits together like clockwork – for it doesn’t, particularly… but that it all flows so freely wild, like the creek, that it all surges in such a free, fringed tangle.  Freedom is the world’s water and weather, the world’s nourishment freely given, its soil and sap: and the creator loves pizzazz.

Now I’ll be honest and say I’m having to Google many of these things to find out what they are, but the last sentence is what absolutely overwhelms me: “The creator loves pizzazz.”  Look around you, even right now.  Look at the creativity of the people sitting next to you, and you’ll realize the truth of that statement.  We don’t need to go out to the river, to the top of the mountain, or into outer space to realize God’s creativity.

Paul wrote, “But the basic reality of God is plain enough.  Open your eyes and there it is!  By taking a long and thoughtful look at what God has created, people have always been able to see what their eyes as such can’t see: eternal power, for instance, and the mystery of his divine being.” (Rom 1:20)  We can see God through his work all around us, yet too often our eyes are darkened and our sight is distracted so that we miss him.  We need to re-focus ourselves so that we can see as he wants us to see.  And then we will respond to him.

And responding gets us right back to worshipping.

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This entry was posted on November 14, 2010 by in D - November 2010, Volume III and tagged , , , .

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All posts are © Thomas R. Feller, Jr., 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Thomas R. Feller, Jr. with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
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