Wild, Orderly Beauty
A theme in recent posts has been the wildness of God. It hasn’t been a deliberate theme, but just what I’ve been thinking about. The irony of His wildness struck me anew today as Scripture also declares how He is a God of peace and not confusion, about Paul’s call for orderly worship (same passage), His precise instructions in the Mosaic law and designs for the Tabernacle Tent and Temple. No wonder we think of Him as ‘civilized.’ But is it really any surprise that He defies our descriptions and understanding?
Similarly, it is profound to me that beauty is so important to Him. Whether we talk about the raw, wild beauty of a mountain vista or a great storm viewed across a Kansas plain, or the beauty of a well laid garden or clean lines in a edifice, there is beauty both in order and wildness.
In the same way, think of the incredible variety of foods, tastes, flavors, smells and colors around us—the koala bear eats exclusively eucalyptus, and we get everything from pub grub to Tex-Mex to Provencal cuisine and more.
Our beverages refresh us from crisp cool water, to fine aged wine to teas, coffees, and so on.
We could have ‘dog.’ Instead, we have Chihuahuas to Great Danes.
Sure, many of these examples arise through human action, but that adds to the wonder—He gave us both the resources and the creativity to discover and create.
My favorite singer, Rich Mullins (RIP) once mused that from a practical, survivalist standpoint, music is a complete waste. It serves no real purpose other than enjoyment of our spirits.
Our academic fields of study have done a pretty thorough job of turning wonder into dry jargon and statistics. In bringing order to our understanding of Creation, we often lose the wildness. No wonder (so to speak) our students are primarily interested in one number, their GPA. Numbers are how we measure success, when inspiration and passion would be more called for, even in math.
What drew us to our respective fields? Where is the wonder in our disciplines? If inspiration and passion are caught, not taught, where does that leave us as scholar-teachers? Join me in praying for the Scholar-Redeemer to breathe life into our academic endeavours.