The World Isn’t Done Yet, Or That’s One Dirty Set of Hands

I grew up 30 miles from the 2nd largest Amish community in America (Lancaster, PA). There are towns nearby where a version of Dutch is still spoken. A regular meal at my family gatherings to this day is hog maw (pig stomach, it’s wretched and no one here in Oregon has heard of it). All that to say that this Pennsylvania Dutch-ness led to me being surrounded by Calvinistic ideas – about God’s control and his hand that moves every piece of the set around.

I used to look at the landscape as I traveled around and marvel: “Wow, God created this river’s course with his own hand! It’s exactly where he wanted it,” and then I’d realize “This means God was actually HERE where I am today!” I’d stare at mountains and take in the beautiful shape God made them into, imaging his hands forming the peaks like a potter with clay.

I have to say I’ve changed. I still believe God created our world – but not the way I once belived. It’s not commonly known among many Americans that Oregon is a very volcanic landscape. Especially where I live – there’s an enormous field of lava that stretches for dozens of miles that the first astronauts walked on to get a feel for what the moon’s surface would be similar to. You can see exactly where a cinder cone burst it”s contents onto the area around it, and even walk in the lava cave formed from where the hot lava once traveled through.

Lava Butte in central Oregon, about 10 miles from my house. You can see where the cinder cone clearly erupted and where it's subsequent lava flowed.

I don’t think God personally burst those cinder cones anymore. But that doesn’t mean I think less highly of God and his creation – in fact just the opposite. Instead of a sculptor enslaved to attention to detail, giving every rock it’s particular point or edge, I see God as a master Creator who built into his work the ability for it to keep creating. God set into the motion a creation that isn’t stuck but keeps shifting and forming and changing.

No longer do I stare at rivers and imagine God’s finger running through the dirt, carving the twists and turns and drops. I know now that water merely follows the path of least resistance, and this is how the rivers and gorges and canyons were formed. I don’t see the clouds as God’s artwork in the sky, just like his sunsets, but I know what he set into the motion all the forces that make the beautiful fluffy clouds and the step-stopping-skies.

I’d have difficult loving a Controller, but I can definitely love a Creator.

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7 Responses to The World Isn’t Done Yet, Or That’s One Dirty Set of Hands

  1. David says:

    I don’t think that God needs to control every rain drop. Like a wise chess player he is many many moves ahead of us. He created water knowing everything that it would do. In the end, even Satan will play into his hand.

    God’s knowledge of the future has been proven in the Scriptures in the form of prophecy. There are about 100 concerning Jesus. I believe there are some taking place right now. IE: Luke 21:11

    God makes himself available to all of us. It simply depends on how we respond. God, he knew how that would be before the foundations of time.

    To enjoy the creator is to put our lives in His control… that the whole point. I see that you often use recovery statements (not a bad thing at all). Here is one that pertains to this topic. “I can’t, He can, I think I’ll let Him.”

  2. Larry Hughes says:

    Charlie: You ain’t seen nothing yet. Given enough time, we will fully understand God’s prpose in things by witnessing it first hand. We are entering an age where many revelations will be fulfilled and we are center stage for the show. Granted God did create the world we live in through many eons but he also created the heavens. All of it has to be perfectly balanced to keep order in the cosmos. You don’t think this happened by chance? Minor things like rivers flow with the least resistance had at one point been worked by God’s miracles to function that way.

    Just take in what you see in nature and other things and thank God that He had His hand in it. Had He not intervened, we might still be tiny protoplasms swimming around in the muck of things or hanging out on a comet.

  3. FormerFundy says:

    Loved your article. I’m from Eugene!

  4. Su says:

    While you’ve backed away from the viewpoint of God directly controlling every single thing, I think you did hit on a good point– “God was actually here where I am today!”

    Of course he was. And the really exciting thing is, since you’ve asked him into your life, he was there the day you were standing there, too. 😀

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