The Bare Soul - March 23, 2008
Ordered Living

Romans 1:20 - For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.

In the locale that I work, we have many small residential and corporate lakes and ponds. In the Midwest, wherever you find groomed lawns around bodies of waters one will usually find Canadian Geese. Generally, without fail, I will encounter these birds on my daily lunchtime runs. I am one to observe their social aspects with one another and I have noticed that they have distinct seasonal behaviors. For instance, in the winter they are gaggled together and usually don't make much of a fuss if an outsider comes along. However, there is a time in late winter when those two years old and older start to pair up and retreat from the gaggle, some with new mates and for those who are older, with the same mate as they are monogamous. They start to get a little "tense" this time of the year and if you approach the pair too quickly the male will begin to honk as they slowly retreat.

Fast forward a couple of months and the females have begun to lay their eggs. At this time, the male becomes slightly more than tense, but actually aggressive if he thinks that someone is going to molest his mate or their eggs. Several times in the springtime, I have ran by a roosting female only to have the male fly up and down toward my head as it does its best impression of a P51 dive bomber. I have only been hit once by an aggressive male, but they get your attention quickly. Usually a little bit of arm waving will ward them off. Other times, the male will come waddling after me, hissing in a spiteful way for me to vacate the area. In either instance, they are serious about the business of incubating a family and have little patience with intruders or suspected enemies.

Then comes summer. The goslings are close by and they learn to run after mother and father away from apparent danger. They are teaching their young that it is much preferable to retreat rather than fight a larger "enemy". Finally, fall and winter come when they become a social gaggle again relying on the group and using the group's guidance for the best foraging spots, etc. When I see this protective, survivalist behavior of animals such as geese, it fills me with wonder. I don't struggle with the idea that God created and ordered existence and purpose within all of his creatures and creation. I don't ponder whether our world was created out of a random collision of matter. I see God's hand in everything around me and I wonder at the absurdity to think any other way. "Who else but God would have hard-wired their instincts in such a manner?", I would reflect. How else would they even know that survival is the preferred outcome if God had not written that in their instinct? For truly, if this is a random happen-stance then survival means nothing. Regarding humans, everything becomes relative and non-sensical to attempt to relate survival to our species, not to mention mores' and laws that govern our societies. It would all be meaningless if there was no God and His son the Lord Jesus Christ.

Aldous Huxley, one of the originators of today's humanist movement, saw things much differently. To be able to capsulate one's thoughts and beliefs to fit his desired lifestyle, he wrote the following:

I had motives for not wanting the world to have a meaning; consequently assumed that it had none, and was able without any difficulty to find satisfying reasons for this assumption. The philosopher who finds no meaning in the world is not concerned exclusively with a problem in metaphysics, he is also concerned to prove that there is no valid reason why he personally should not do as he wants to do, or why his friends should not seize political power and govern in the way that they find most advantageous to themselves... For myself, the philosophy of meaningless was essentially an instrument of liberation, sexual and political. -- Aldous Huxley in Ends and Means, 1937

Mr. Huxley's notions are symptomatic of many in our world today that desire to see and understand this world as they want to. It is too upsetting and life-style threatening to think that there are laws written into the universe -- not only laws of survival such as the earlier example of geese, but laws of love, mercy, retribution, and judgment that are non-negotiable. As the laws of this universe are upheld by a loving and righteous God, there will always be those who would seek to dismiss the divine order as a fluke and random experience. Ordered living has no appeal to most who would attempt to dismiss a God of laws and statutes. (However, let the humanist or the atheist's house be robbed and we'll see if they don't cry for justice against their malefactor.) Either one must accept that the material universe is created by a divine power, or one must believe the fairy tale of "Once upon a time -- poof! Things just kind of came together!" If one comes to grips with the former, then they must understand that this God is not merely a "higher power" but more importantly is a God that sent His Son to redeem a lost race. The decision is always ours to make, either from our own self-deception or His Divine Logic.

Your barefoot servant,

Barefoot Rick

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