One time, while flying, I had my face pressed against the window, taking in all the wild wonder of being so high in the sky. The plane was making its descent into Tampa International. It was night time and we were skirting the shore of the Gulf of Mexico. As I looked out on all the lights, all of the cities and towns below, I realized something. There is a fundamental difference between human creation and God’s creation.
Being that it was dark, the lights painted a revealing picture of human creation. There were lights everywhere and they revealed a truth about our human desire to control. The lights formed specific patterns. The straight lines of roadways. The circular patterns of housing communities. The geometric shapes of buildings. Everything was so planned, calculated and controlled.
This planned, calculated and controlled human creation was countered by the seemingly random nature of God’s creation. I could see it in the deep blackness of the Gulf of Mexico, with its twisting and turning beachfront. The line between the lights of civilization and the deep darkness of the natural world were anything but straight. There was no pattern, there didn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason. The darkness just was, and the lights contorted themselves in order to compensate for this lack of rhyme or reason.
Fingers of darkness shot inland as rivers and streams. Not the straight lines of human-made canals but the seemingly random pattern of God-made canals. These fingers of darkness twisted and turned, bending and even doubling back on themselves every now and again. It was as if a ghostly pattern had been painted in the midst of the straight lines and order. From this altitude it was hard to delineate whether the lights were forming around the darkness or vice-versa. Was humanity’s creation adapting to God’s creation or the other way around?
This caused me to think about one of the most prevalent of human complaints: “Why doesn’t everything always work out?” As I looked down upon this dance between human creation and God’s creation, straight lines and meandering darkness, I realized that the answer is to be found in an individual’s perspective on life’s order.
If you believe that everything will work out and that this working out will be the accomplishment of your effort, your prevailing over the elements, your subduing all that is in your sphere of influence; you will forever find yourself wondering why everything doesn’t always work out. Conversely, if you believe that everything will work out and that you do not have the ability to define what working out means, in any specific situation; you will forever find yourself wondering why so many people sweat the small stuff of trying to control that which is uncontrollable.
Given enough time, the darkness of God’s creation, that I was observing from the window of that airplane, will force the planned, calculated and controlled order of human creation to change. Yes, it is true that both the darkness as well as the lights will change, but the lights change in response to the darkness, not the other way around. This is a healthy perspective for you to consider the next time that you are questioning why everything doesn’t always work out.