I’m a practical person. I come from a practical family. My family roots are German, Scotch and British. With that combination, I didn’t have a chance to be anything but frugal, stoic, and disciplined.
Sometimes, when I look at God’s creation, I think, “Why did God do it that way?” My conservative streak wonders at God’s extravagance and flamboyance, His attention to detail when, if you think about, it wasn’t really necessary. But He did it anyway.
Rick Warren, in his book, “The Purpose of Christmas” finds himself amazed by God’s creation too. God gave us taste buds, Warren says, then God made wonderful, irresistible things like chocolate and cinnamon. Yes, Rick, and He gave us the sense of smell and created the scent of freshly baked bread, too.
He didn’t have to do that, you know.
Clouds are another amazing thing. I understand the science behind clouds. I understand the need for the different kinds of clouds. But then, God allowed the clouds to drift into different shapes. And He gave us imaginations to pretend those shapes represented other things. Every day, the cloud shapes morph into more shapes. Let yourself be carried above the clouds in an airplane and, to your delight, you find a completely different perspective as you realize how mammoth these three dimensional bags of vapor are. As one person on Facebook said about this picture my sister took, “Our Lord the artist was at work – or maybe play.” God at play?
He didn’t have to squish the clouds into different shapes, you know. He could have left them the same shape all the time.
God didn’t have to create such a palate of colors either. He could have stuck to the standard sixteen crayons in a box variety. Even sixty-four would have been more than enough. But think of the maddening spectrum of colors splashed across our universe – and intricately made eyes to see them with, eyes so complex, an optometrist studies ocular anatomy for four years and still doesn’t completely understand the make-up of the eye. God didn’t have to create us with binocular vision – but He did. Then He marvelously created the brain in such a way that it can compensate when someone has use of only one eye. Amazing!
He didn’t have to do it that way. But He did – for our delight and His pleasure.
God delights in His creation. I love the King James rendering of Revelations 4:11: “Thou are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power, for thou hast created all things and for thy pleasure, they are and were created.” Wow! That means God finds delight in His creations.
2 Timothy 6:17 says that God gives us everything for our enjoyment and Acts 14:17 says that God gives us joy in our hearts.
My friend, Kayleigh, who is in her fifth month of pregnancy, recently wrote on Facebook, “Can’t help but smile with every kick.” Think about the whole pro-creation thing. God didn’t have to do it that way. He could have created us to procreate in a different, much less visible, sensible, and well, proper way. My Victorian ancestors would have liked that. Yet he chose to put life inside the body of a mother, to shelter and hold it for nine precious months, to allow Mom to feel the thrill of life hidden in the secret place. Then there are those very precious moments when a knee or an elbow protrudes so Dad can share the joy as well.
I suspect He did all of this for reasons other than mere practicality. After all, grace – giving us what we don’t deserve – is never practical.
Kayleigh, I imagine God is smiling with every kick, too.