Oklahoma Conference of the United Methodist Church

Living in God's mysterious universe


"There is a path which no fowl knoweth, and which the vulture's eye has not seen."
                                                   -Job 28:7



Whenever the opportunity presents itself, I reward myself by taking a brisk "wog" at Lake Hefner. In case you are unfamiliar with the term "wog," it's what you do when you think you're too young to walk but too old to jog.  

I haven't reached the point when I'm ready to admit that all I really can do is walk. That's another article whose title fits under the heading of vanity. 

Anyway, I recently got a chance to go exercise at the lake, and five minutes into my stroll, my ears picked up a loud, piercing sound from high overhead. As I looked up, I beheld one of God's great wonders. 

It was a flock of geese heading south for the winter. 

It would be difficult for me to describe for you just how beautiful those birds were.  Flying close behind their leader, these majestic fowl formed a tight V-shaped pattern, high above the ground.  

All I could do was stare.  

As they quickly passed, I started wondering where they were going. I almost immediately found myself questioning God's mysterious ways and plans. 

How can these birds know when to fly south? How do they know the way? There are no charts, highways, or markers for them. Just how can ordinary birds fly 3,000 or 4,000 miles to an exact spot on this huge planet we call Earth? 

Stop and think about it. It's truly amazing how God has prepared life so that geese-as well as innumerable beasts, other birds, and fish-do the same thing every year. Salmon still return to their home waters to spawn. Swallows continue to go back to Capistrano. 

And all we humans can do is watch in wonder and be amazed at the mechanism that triggers the instinct in God's creatures to go back to where they were born. 

Centuries ago, a man by the name of Job saw what I saw.  

He looked up and beheld the wonders of God in flight, and he said this: "There is a path which no fowl knoweth, and which the vulture's eye has not seen."  

In saying this, Job simply meant that God's ways are always full of surprise and awe. God's plans and purposes for all creation are both too deep and too lofty for the intellect and understanding of people. Often, all we can do is watch and stare in amazement as God carries out His intent and plan for every living creature. 

As those geese flew farther into the distance, all I could do was praise God for all He has created and for giving me that opportunity to see Him at work.

Even greater mysteries

When I returned home, more questions surfaced in my mind. If God can create such great mystery with simple birds in flight, just think of the mystery that surrounds you and me.  

Of all the great wonders of the universe, the most baffling unknown is that of humankind. 

When you look at all God has made, only humans can think, feel, love, aspire, and worship. We have a special kinship with our Creator, because God has endowed us with minds and souls that can comprehend something of the Divine majesty that exists around us. 

And just like the birds and other living things, we, too, must go back to the place that provides us with spiritual nourishment and answers about our existence.  

And that place, my friends, is God. 

Only when we "take flight" and return to God are we able to understand who we are and why we are here. Only when we establish communion with the Universal Mind will we able to understand our purpose for being.

It all comes together

On the Sunday immediately after my experience with the birds and the questions they stimulated, I got to attend a Sunday school class where the subject was God's creation. It was as though God led me to that room on that day to hear the scripture lesson in that hour. 

As the leader of the class opened his Bible to Psalms 8, it all came together for me. 

The Psalm describes David marveling at the glory of the heavens. All he could say was: "O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is thy name! When I look at the heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou has established, (I ask) what is man that thou art mindful of him, and the son of man that thou dost care for him?" 

My friends, David was asking: "Why does God think of us so highly?" "What purpose or plan does God have for us?" 

Psalms 8 concludes: "Yet thou has made us a little less than God, and He has crowned us with glory and honor. He has given us dominion over all His works, and has put all things under our feet." 

There it is, my friends. God thought so highly of us that He made us a little lower than the angels. God crowned our lives with glory and honor, and God expects us to be His representatives here on earth. The role of speaking and acting on God's behalf is the main responsibility we have in the world, is our purpose for being.

In closing

As soon as you finish reading this article, put down your newspaper and look outside for a moment at God's creation. Look for the birds; feel the wind on your face. Look, and see how everything God has created is dependent upon something else. 

We are no different. Just as every living thing is dependent upon the sunshine and rain, so are we dependent upon God.  

In all creation, never forget: God thinks more of you than any other creature. God made you in God's image. The very least we can do is "go back" to God each day and thank Him for all He has done.


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