Humans often wonder at their own creations, underplaying or even ignoring the wonders on earth that were created by God Himself.
Take the Grand Canyon.
Many don’t realize that this gaping chasm, in Arizona, is 277 miles long (fifty miles more than the distance between New York City and Washington, D.C.) and at points 18 miles wide.
Think the Freedom Tower is tall? The depth of the Grand Canyon is more than three times that of the towering Manhattan structure — comparable to four Empire State Buildings stacked up on each other.
At many points the sheer drop is a mile down.
And then, of course, are the simple beauty and colors of its vistas. Depending on the sun, there are shades of colors in its rocks for which we don’t even have names. It is the true meaning (for once) of the word “awesome” (or “unreal,” and maybe also “perfect”).
The Colorado River, which courses through the canyon (and supposedly created it), could fill an Olympic-sized pool in five seconds — and speaking of wonders, the Mississippi River, at New Orleans, can fill 25 such pools in the same time period. According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, there are catfish, in some river depressions, that could swallow a human.
The sheerest drop in the world: here you can look to Great Trango Tower in Pakistan. That drop is 20,000 feet — at nearly four miles, more than half the cruising altitude for a transatlantic passenger jet.
Plants? There are trees alive today that predate the birth of Jesus.
In Central Florida was a cypress 3,500 years old — sprouting around the time of the ancient Phoenicians (but destroyed by an arsonist in 2012).
How’s this (the Rafflesia Arnoldii, in Sumatra) for a flower? Size: a diameter of 3.3 feet.
Did you ever notice how similar a bronchiole in your lung is to a tree?
Do walnuts, which support brain health, look like the brain?
Now move on to animals. Amazing feats?
See the video snippet at end of this little disquisition. How conceivably can sheep (Alpine ibex) scale a vertical Italian dam?
Scientists have found that sea turtles tagged on Cumberland Island, Georgia, migrate as far as South America, West Africa and northern Europe — then, after thirty years, swimming solo, the turtles somehow, someway (God knows!), find their way back to the precise beach where they were hatched, to lay eggs of their own. Think about it just a moment. “It was astounding — and puzzling,” notes a writer, “discovery of one of nature’s longest and most remarkable migrations: a creature returning to a pinpoint target after three decades at sea.”
Monarch butterflies, for their part, migrate from Canada to Mexico.
Sandhill cranes fly from Texas to — Russia.
Yet many of these creatures are going extinct due to simple human indifference, pollution, and abuse — no doubt, a sin in the Eyes of God. The population of sea turtles is two percent of what it once was. Imagine the odds against survival if you are a wild animal.
As for the environment, everywhere there, alas, is styrofoam and plastic.
Somehow, protecting God’s Creation has become anathema to many. And that means something very clearly is spiritually amiss. When we measure things by the standard of humans, God becomes no larger than a man. He is, of course, infinitely bigger. And wiser. And caring.
“For You love all things that are and loathe nothing that you have made,” says the Book of Wisdom (11:24). “[And] what You hated, you would not have made.”
The Christian naturalist George Washington Carver said, “Reading about nature is fine, but if a person walks in the woods and listens carefully, he can learn more than what is in books, for they speak with the Voice of God.”
They are all around us, and summer is a good time to appreciate what remains of them, and especially to appreciate and wonder at and worship not nature but the Creator Who fashioned it (and us).
[Grand Canyon note: upcoming “special report” will look at more mystical aspects of the Southwest]