I recently bought a book called ‘How to be an explorer of the world’. It’s premise is that the world is filled with things that are exploration-worthy, we just never notice. Through a series of exercises, it sets out to open our eyes to the wonders all around us: the texture of a stone, the pattern of shadow cast across a floor, the shapes of clouds. Treasures stacked all around us, if only we would take the time to see.
I’m often just as guilty of ignoring the human wonders around me. How easy to reduce people to cardboard cut-outs or flesh machines energised by the brute drives of evolutionary forces. To see people as tools for me to get what I want – or barriers that get in my way – rather than as fallen beings originally made by God to be fit for communion with Him, beautifully wrought for His delight.
If I’m so blind to these things that I can see, how much more when it comes to ultimate realities? How easy to see God Himself as a tool or a totalitarian dictator, to fail to see Him as the dizzyingly-deep Personality from which all human personality flows. I have a cardboard cut-out God! How absurd, when He is the One who defined Himself by the cross, whose depths can never be plumbed. The superlative, transcendent, omnipotent God dying shamefully, as a man, on a Roman stake for love of ruined, debased humanity. And yet, to my deadened heart it quickly becomes so much old hat.
So, as a Christian I believe that the world is full of wonders, but as a twenty-first century London-dweller I easily find myself living as if it isn’t. My prayer for this blog is that it would help me take off my grey-tinted spectacles and see the vertiginous beauty of this life – visible and invisible – more clearly.