I hope you’re going to look down today. As you know, a wide swath of our nation is experiencing a total eclipse of the sun. People are buying “eclipse glasses,” traveling across state lines, and even having viewing parties. I’m certain you’ve received more than sufficient warning not to look at the sun. People have gone blind doing so during previous eclipses. So make sure you’re looking down today. But not just to protect your eyes…
A solar eclipse reminds us of the miraculous wonders of the creation that surrounds us. Our God created the universe for our benefit. He gave it to us as a gift to live in, and love, and celebrate, and steward, and manage. Instead of looking up, maybe we should be looking down, and around. I suppose that being able to witness a solar eclipse is like seeing the Grand Canyon for the first time, watching the aurora borealis, or studying a hummingbird in flight.
But if we look around us there are all kinds of miracles and wonders every day. Flowers bloom, babies take their first breath, and the tide at the beach comes in and goes out like clockwork. Cars hurtle us down the highway at seventy miles per hour, computers with massive memory fit in the palms of our hands, and TV screens are larger and clearer than they’ve ever been. Some even let us see the picture in 3D.
Martin Luther once said:
[Most people] are so accustomed to [the works of God in nature]; they are as permeated with them as an old house is with smoke; they use them and wallow around in them like a sow in an oats sack. Oh, they say, is it so marvelous that the sun shines? That fire heats? That water contains fish? That hens lay eggs? That the earth yields grain? That a cow bears calves? That a woman gives birth to children? Why, this happens every day! You dear dolt Hans, must it be insignificant because it happens daily? … If God created all other women and children of bone, as He did Eve, and but one woman were able to bear children, I maintain that the whole world, kings and lords, would worship her as a divinity. But now that every woman is fruitful, it passes for nothing. … Is it not vexing to see the accursed ingratitude and blindness of mankind?
So as you appreciate today’s nearly once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon, let it serve as a reminder. The miracles of a loving God surround us. Though we may take them for granted, they bring benefit to us. These miracles comfort us, make life more convenient, and deliver health or healing. Sometimes they even amaze us.
Look up today for a moment or two (with the proper eye protection). But then take a look around and notice the miracles that happen everyday.
What regular miracles do you often take for granted?
*Special thanks to Charles P. Arand for the ideas behind this post and for bringing to my attention the above Luther quote.