I hope a lot of you read my blog from last night. If not, I urge you to read it at this point as I plan to continue the thought. I kept it going after I wrote it and have toyed with the idea off and on all day. Sadly, my job usually distracts me so I spend more time in the off position than in the on position.
I thought that I could teach someone how to drive to another state if I wanted to. If I was a pilot, I could teach them how to fly to another state. If I was the captain of a boat, I could show them how to sail there. I could teach them all manner of ways to get there, but there is one thing I could not teach them. I could not teach them how to walk there.
That is something I find amazing. It is for us quite natural though so we cannot explain how to do it. I find if I’m playing a video game I have played for years, when a friend asks me for the controls to do something for the first time, I am at a loss. I have been doing it for so long, I have forgotten how I do it. The only difference in this case is that I don’t know how I walked the first time.
We say we teach our kids how to walk. We do no such thing. A child cannot be taught your thought processes whatever they may be whereby you learn to walk. Our children just naturally develop this ability and I see it as a mystery how it happens. We merely create the environment and encouragement for them to learn how.
We do not know the most of what we do. A child has the problem of wetting himself not because he does not know how to go but he does not know how not to. He has not learned that self-control and we would still be hard-pressed to teach a course to a child on “How to go to the restroom.” We could teach a child all the hygiene involved, but we could not teach him the main reason one goes in the first place.
Sadly, we have lost the wonder in these I believe because they are so natural to us. A good friend of mine (Who will be an awesome Christian counselor I hope someday) told me last night about the Lord of the Rings. It’s been years since I’ve read the books, but he’s a fanatic of them. He was telling me about a scene where the elves give some characters cloaks and one non-elf, Sam, asks “Are these magical cloaks?”
The elves are stunned. They don’t know what he means. To them, it’s completely natural. We think the same thing about what we do well. I do mathematics well in my head. I cannot tell someone how I do it exactly. I just do it. A fast runner might not be able to tell how he does it. He just does it.
We see the same in the animal kingdom. We can be amazed at the Bombardier beetle because he is capable of igniting gases within himself and shooting a flame, but if we could see into the mind of one who was a philosopher, he might well see his practice as quite natural and instead be writing treatises on how other animals do other things.
This is the miracle then that has invaded our world. The miracle is that which we view as commonly natural is in fact in many ways supernatural. It is a wonder of God that we have these many simple things that we cannot explain. We can explain how electrons move and why. We cannot do the same for ourselves.
We should spend our days in wonder that we are capable of walking. That my eyes open in the morning and close at night and I know not how should make me stand in amazement. That I can somehow lapse into a period called sleep that while I may aid you in reaching, I could not teach you how to do the act itself, is amazing. I do not know how I do it, yet somehow I do it every night. (Well, excepting two stay-up-all-night parties when younger.)
It is a shame that we have taken such commonalities and forgotten the wonder therein. Either these are incredible events or they are not. Yet if they are not incredible, I would think they would be easily explained. It seems no one else can do so. The atheist writes the books saying there is no God, but can he tell me how he moves his hands across the keyboard? Can he tell me how he even thinks? That he can analyze what he says and draw inferences (though I believe invalid), I find utterly amazing. It would seem though that it is not unfamiliarity with his subject that is his downfall. It is familiarity.
It is our age that seeks to find the extraordinary and we think we have to look past the common. Instead, we should define what is extraordinary first and then find that in the common. It is then that we can appreciate the unique acts the more. We should be amazed at the incarnation, but let us take it further. We should first have amazement that God is. We should then have amazement that he has revealed himself. The more amazement we find at these, the more we will be amazed when we get to “The Word Became Flesh.”
My suggestion? Let us look not to the unusual to find God. Why not begin with that which is closest to us, which is the usual. It could be that when we finish, we find that we called the unusual was really usual and what we called the usual was really unusual.