The Hale-Bopp comet. Amazing. Breathtaking. Intriguing.
We were doing an early morning paper route in those days, and we saw it nearly every morning. And at 4:00 in the morning, with city lights dimmed, we saw shooting stars and planets and constellations set against the black sky. We probably would have preferred to still be sleeping, we thanked God for this glimpse into creation.
I started memorizing Psalm 19 then:
The heavens declare the glory of God. The skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech. Night after night they display knowledge.
There's no speech or language where their voice is not heart.
Their voice goes out into all the earth and their words to the end of the world.Obviously, the night sky is silent, but creation speaks. And like music, sometimes it speaks more clearly than words, which are limited in their scope.
And so vastness of the sky, with the brilliance of the skies, and glimpse of other worlds, speaks to God's power, his glory, his mystery. Our telescopes open windows into celestial realms, but even though we can see further and further, we have not reached the end of the heavens. It is that enormous. We can't even fathom it's size.
And so we know God through his creation if we take the time to really look and see, allowing the Holy Spirit speak to us.
But David doesn't stop there. We also know God through his Word.
"The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the statues of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple."
It's important to remember--most people couldn't read in those days. They listened intently to the words of Scripture, over and over, in order to memorize as much as they could.
We can read now and so we tend to let the words stay on the pages. But if we really want revival of the soul, if we really want to become wise, we want to internalize those words in our souls, in our psyche, so that they speak to us when we're not looking at the words on a page.
These words are much more precious than gold; they are sweeter than honey. Why not let them seep into our hearts, in our minds, in our consciousness and our unconsciousness? In keeping these words, there is great reward.
I grew up in church. I knew doctrine, and I knew stories. I could recite Scripture. But I never took the time to know God. I never took the time to gaze on creation and let the Holy Spirit speak to me. I never took the time to meditate on Scripture, allowing it to influence my deepest thoughts.
Even now, I tend to look past the sky, past the trees, past the mountains. I tend to read the words on the page and move on.
I want to slow down. I want to know God.
I can't resist adding David's closing prayer as I close this entry. It's a prayer for everyday and every blog post. Or at least it should be.
May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight.
O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.