Reflection on Nature during Advent

· Perception, Pessimism of Reality, Theology
Authors

We create the world around us. I don’t believe we consider the ridiculousness of our world enough. I mean, we are so detached from the reality of what we have created sometimes, it just helps to consider an example:

We cut down trees to build little homes (of course most of us don’t actually cut down these trees, we pay others to do this) so that we can escape the elements. We have refrigeration to preserve food, and sewage systems to get rid of that food. We store gas so that we can burn it as fuel, and we create furniture that makes us feel comfortable. We build cars to transport ourselves over long distances and build buildings so tall that Babel would be jealous. All of this built to escape the natural, impetuous elements. All of this sets us apart from the rest of nature.  We sit in our chairs and open our laptops so that we can write our dissertations on the anti-feministic tendencies of 1970’s science fiction as depicted in Jabba the hutt’s Palace. We hop on our treadmill and run or walk miles on end and step off in the and same place that we started.  We lay out on our wal-mart futons and watch movies about Sandra Bullock floating around in space,  or Daniel Day Lewis monopolizing oil fields, and then we get bored with all this.  We want to experience nature,  we want to get just a little taste of what we have removed ourselves from, so we go watch other animals in cages at the zoo,  laughing at their simplistic and curious eyes and their movements so free from  embarrassment

I’ll spare you from my Animal Liberation tendency,  but will say this; that we look at other creatures as strange or out of place,  with out ever stopping to realize just how strange and out of place we are. Look at us reading off of our palms, creating a whole world inside interconnected electrical boxes that allow us to discuss ideas that we made up,  like fan fiction.

What a strange thing when you reflect on it. We are alien to the rest of nature and we create this world and all of its ideas within it,  and this leads us to question.  We question our existence,  as Beings inside this spatio-temporal point,  as heidegger puts it. He continues to say “to know means to stand inside the truth,  truth being the  manifestation of essent [that is to say awareness of existing in time].” and with this awareness that is so unique we reject the blessing that is us,  and take for granted that accidents like this are too peculiar to be accidents. Yet we say that God is a figment,  and that Jesus is mythical,  and that we are just mistakes. And so we act like mistakes. We act like we are sensory-driven meat bags and that sacredness is cutely primitive and that salvation is a childish notion for those that still believe they need to be delivered. Although we’re more subtle than saying it out right, our actions, which are slightly held back by traditions that we don’t believe in,  slowly dig our feet into an absolute that we are free from teleology.

But we still allow others to buy into the notion of purpose in hopes that we can disappoint them,  like an older brother maliciously telling his younger siblings that there is no Santa Claus.

We go as far as openly mocking their acceptance of God and their belief in greater things beyond this life. We try to convince them that if there is a God then he is a cosmic bully. He just draws you in with all of the mighty awe and wonder, and then as you feel the climax of it all, the finale of meaning, you expect him to speak, but just dead silence. God vanishes, like a drifter, picking at the most sensitive parts of your soul. It turns on a dime, from being so close and real, to being pointless. Perhaps it is too sensitive to talk in generalities,  but I know I am guilty of accepting this world view from time to time.

See, God and I have lots of shouting matches, even though it seems like I am just crying my guts out into a void, I sometimes honestly question the whole thing, like as if God not being real and that believing in a purposeless life would somehow bring some resolve to the matter. But it doesn’t, and God is there. God seeps in at the most intimate times, he speaks in the dead of night in our dreams and through the people that you wish you could just hate, he speaks through the weakest and simplest minds, he speaks through the wind and through the shy presence of small animals, and when you come to the full revelation of God, there is an overwhelmingness, the acceptance of how small and wrong you were about God is obvious like a soundly argued verdict, and that no excuse is good enough for such a being that can be so subtly always present. But none of that matters, because the minute the guilt fills your heart, the minute you realize how very real God is, the foreboding that comes with accepting God’s holiness,  at that time Love pours in, intimate purpose and wisdom of the hierarchy of our deitificative relationship becomes more than realistic, but foundational to our essent. To amend Hiedegger, To know God means to accept God as truth while being aware of our existence within time and in relation to his eternality. I think the most awe struck ways that I find God are when I look at the vastness of existence on a starry night, when I hear Him commanding the nature to do what it does, like in the crisp silence after a ferocious snow fall, or hearing a bird sing to its children. Perhaps this is why we feel so distant sometimes because we as humans don’t fit in the way the other creatures do, however, instead of seeking the best way to fit as unique beings, we build ourselves away from God, we build walls and cities to pretend as if privacy somehow would keep God out. Other animals accept God’s presence, with their simple mechanical minds and they seem to be content, but we are special. God wants to give us everything so that despite all of the wisdom, all of the inventiveness, and all of the rationality we can throw it away at the very possibility that our lives matter and that God loves us, and that we can truly worship him by loving him back and loving others. Awareness of God as a conscious being is special and should not be taken for granted. And this is the gospel of Jesus, the very real Messiah, coming to us in a simple time, from an obscure village and from humble loins. He forsaked any royalty and distants himself from any triumphal overthrow of the powers in place. Christ came to us so natural and so subtle, and now he hopes to gently pull your ear close and whisper “I’m here to deliver you. I’m here to knock down these walls and to show you how you were meant to live.” I don’t know if I’ll ever meet God in a more intimate way then I am meeting him now, by pouring love and life into you. And I think the intimately subtle way that Christ Comes to us this season makes our acceptance of it much more special.

So I ask that we all accept God and be aware of him and share this intimacy with others, and that we might Know God as Natural worshippers.  Amen.

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