The other night I got to wondering about the first time lightning attacked mankind. It isn’t the person struck, wriggling about the now-soggied field or floating on the surface of some tossing body of water, who intrigues me. No, it is the poor chap’s company that is in a far more interesting predicament. Imagine this first-time development: two men walking along together, heading home after a day farming the land. Perhaps they are complaining about sore backs or speculating on the looming clouds marching quietly toward them. Then, in a blink, a shining object pierces through the air, leaving both men entirely shocked, but one much more literally. How would they react? I mean, the person serving as a human lightning rod has a fairly predictable reaction: writhing. But what of the other man?
I simply cannot wrap my brain around the notion of the unknown, the unexpected, and the unfathomable occurrence. How did this friend explain the ordeal without the aid of scientific understanding and modern technology?
And that, I guess, is where the revelation of the whole matter comes and it is this: Getting struck by lightning is incredibly unfathomable whether it occurs now–with our glut of information–or thousands of years ago. Lightning itself, well, it is just not ordinary: and neither are earthquakes, tornadoes, births, volcanic eruptions, gravity, communication, grace, or love.
As humans we have this curious nature which seeks to make things reasonable. Understandable. Comprehensible. “Oh, well, there are underground plates which are shifting in a rather typical and somewhat predictable fashion that allows for—” OH STOP IT! I want to yell at the babbling scientist that resides within me. The earth is easy to walk on one moment and the next it is gyrating enough to topple concrete buildings! Just because we can write a paragraph about an earthquake–just because we can measure it–does not make it comprehensible; we cannot shake the power out of the thing, try as we might.
So what is the point of this rambling? Well, the point is that we do not exist as cosmic investigators; this world is not ours to solve. We watch, we speak, and we react to life all around us wondering what the point is. We tend to garner up all the “how’s” of this world, and, in doing so, we trade out all our “wow’s” for “why’s.” If we can explain the science of something, we tend to give ourselves permission to ignore its wonder. What a shame this is!
Simply put, we live in an oft unfathomable place which is bigger than we were ever meant to be. This place was made by a Being we were never meant to explain away and chart and graph the wonder out of. Yes, seek understanding, but in doing so, we should be humbled with the bigness of the Creator and not make small His many doings: Our growing understanding–if we can even presumptuously call it that–should only increase our awe.
God’s creation is bigger than our facts and stats and explanation, and He is bigger even than all of that creation. So I’ll rest in the “wow’s” of the creation knowing full well that lightning could strike, and despite my scientific knowledge of electricity, I hope to see it for what it truly is and move in awe from its path.