Wow! It is has been over four months since my last post. I have been working through figuring a lot out. Oh, and we moved, which was a huge answer to a yearlong prayer. All in all, in the last four months I have learned time and again that God is good!
I have been able to do some reading, too. I just finished, in less than a week, N.D. Wilson’s book, Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl: Wide-Eyed Wonder in God’s Spoken World. Wide-eyed wonder is a great description of this book. Justin Taylor calls it “provocative”. Justin definitely gets it right. The book reads like a succession of random thoughts thrown together, but they all weave together to get his point across: This world (universe) we live in is amazing! Every part of it screams out at us that there is a Creator God that designed every corner, every microscopic organism and spoke into existence every sub-atomic particle.
You are spoken. I am spoken. We stand on a spoken stage. The spinning kind. The round kind. The moist kind. The kind of stage with beetles and laughter and babies and dirt and snow and fresh-cut cedar.
You are made of cells. I am made of cells. My cells are built on molecules. My molecules make use of atoms. My atoms are mostly space, but the bits that aren’t are called quarks. My quarks are standing because they’re obedient. They’ve been told to by a Voice they cannot disobey. (p.24)
And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.
In reading the book, there were no “Ah hah” moments, no earth-shattering truths to rock my world. No, that would sell it short. It was much more. For me, it renewed my joy in the beauty and wonderfulness of God’s creation. It opened my eyes in wide-eyed wonder. My kids get it. I once got it, too. But, we easily become numb to the awesomeness.
There are times when it is easy to go numb, when it is easy to forget that you sit in a box of metal, dug from the earth and alloyed, shaped by the men and robots of Detroit. I don’t care that I sit three feet above the ground in a machine with the soul and strength of (muffled) explosions. Horses are for recreation; my harnesses are hitched to pounding bursts of fire, and they pull me (gently, please) without complaint, while I collect invisible waves from the air with a magic metal wand and turn them into orchestras, pop start, and indignant voices complaining about the war. It is easy to forget that the trees are busily carving up the air with sunlight and factory-producing the new year’s leaves more efficiently than Germans. (p. 92)
Sidenote: I particularly enjoyed Wilson’s descriptions of wrestling with his kids on the floor and in the leaves. A vivid picture that reminds me of my common wrestling matches with all three of mine on the floor. All three of them against me piling on my back at one time, wrapping their arms tight around my neck from behind, waiting to be flipped over onto the ground or for me to buck them off or stand up and drop them on the couch. Pure joy for all of us.
When I lie on the ground, face down in the carpet, penitent with thankfulness for a life undeserved, for beauty and happiness unmerited, grateful for the stars and the starlings, for the grass and the leaves and the bound-up bales of love I’ve been given, I know what is coming. I can hear the voice of their mother egging them on.
Bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh.
Daughters on my back, kisses and laughter in my ears. A son’s hands on my ankles, straining for the day when he can flip me easily. A smaller son, with few words to his tongue, grinding his young skull into mine, twisting and worming beneath my face. He needs no words. He looks up into my eyes, smiles, and slaps my cheek, picking a fight, waiting for his neck to be eaten. Waiting for laughter. (p. 137)
The writing is beautiful art, but not art for the sake of art. It screams, “Look all around you and know there is a God! Let me tell you about this God and how much He loves you.”
The Infinite speaks us. We are in the frame, playing our role alongside the ants and the moss and Orion. We fell away, and our world fell with us. He stoops for us, and in the end our running and our suiciding will only picture the depth of His love, His humility. It magnifies His ultimate triumph. (p. 190)
1 John 4:9-10
In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
I do recommend this book. But beware, it will open your eyes in wide-eyed wonder to the world around you. After reading this book, you very well may have less time for paperwork, returning emails, or cleaning out your garage. Hopefully. Next, I am going to watch the DVD. Can’t wait!