Don't get me wrong there is a whole world of spectacular things that can be learned through observation and empirical study of the world but we are one of the first eras that has insisted that this is the only way to understand the world. There will always be break points in our understanding, the place where our comfort and control ends and the unknown stretches out before us. We will always have the question of what to do with that, with those the ultimate questions. To my mind, we can close them down because we can't pin them down or we can be like the great philosophers that came before us and ask the questions.
My first degree was in Biology and I have always credited this as a major part of the opening of my mind to the possibility of God. Looking at the sheer wonder of the natural environment, its regenerative potential, its diversity and its sheer beauty was what made a believer out of me. Not a believer in God at the time but a believer in hope and in eternity. It is of course true that death is a fundamental part of the natural world but seeing the amazing power of evolution and how life always overcomes, adapts and perseveres put a deep seated sense of peace inside of me.
|Snap by my lovely friend Hannah at http://hannahruthking.blogspot.co.uk/|
The Christian story, then, of hope rising up out of death made a lot of sense. The world is decaying every day, every thing is born with a shelf life and yet there is something in the natural world that speaks of regeneration and renewal. When a forest is affected by natural fire it looks like the end has come but that fire releases seeds which spring up to form new ecosystems, new life and new ways of being. It's the 'Circle of Life', if you will!
|By Hannah Ruth King|
The sheer diversity of that life, when I did develop a belief in a 'creator' (not I might add as a chap sitting there making Zebras like clay animals but the author and architect of all life commanding life into being like the conductor of an orchestra) left me in awe. Because I wonder how people who claim to believe in God can ever see him as joyless when they wonder on the fact that there are 400,000 different types of flowering plants on earth? I wonder how they can fail to see humour in the baboon or majesty through the elephant? How a great storm cannot help but stop and make them think about the tiny place we occupy in this great big world under a great big God.
|Photo by my other lovely friend http://www.hannahbeatrice.co.uk/|