Humble Wonder- Look, See, Pray

According to the famous 17th century German astronomer Johannes Kepler science is rooted in God. Kepler wrote, “I was merely thinking God’s thoughts after him. Since we astronomers are priests of the highest God in regard to the book of nature, it benefits us to be thoughtful, not of the glory of our minds, but rather, above all else, of the glory of God.”

Truly original thinking is about as rare as unicorn’s teeth! Every scholar stands on the shoulders of those who have gone before. Every “expert” has to learn from explanation and observation. Every train of thought is sparked by something we see, touch, learn, experience, or sense. Amazing strides have been made in recent times and we “know” about DNA and stuff that would seem impossible to our forefathers.

Some of us may therefore think we’ve moved on from a religious or superstitious world view.

I suggest something different. The more we know of science, the more our knowledge and imaginations lead humanity to new insights and achievements, the more Kepler’s words make sense.

Because of my health conditions, I’ve been doing some fascinating studies in biology and food science. (Having been on a NHS trial programme, I have put my Type 2 Diabetes into remission and no longer need medications to “juggle” my insulin and blood sugar levels.) As a “success” story, I am now considered an “Expert Patient” – which I find astonishing – and have been reading scientific papers so I can encourage other patients without doing them any damage. After all, I’m not a true expert or trained doctor so I have to know my limits!

It seems to me that every time science opens a new vault of knowledge, it opens up a vast storehouse of intricate relationships needing more study and insight. The more we discover, the more realise how much we don’t know. At some point we face such wonder that we either accept that there can be no explanation for existence- or we begin to see the “Hand of God” conducting the orchestra.

Some say that “God” is unlikely or impossible. My observation is that the further we go into science, art, music, mathematics, philosophy and the whole experience of Life, the more complex and inexplicable Life is- and without some form of “god-concept” it becomes an overwhelming wonder.

Is it surprising that “religion” and “theology” are such common traits in human civilisation?

One ancient expression of humble wonder is found in Psalm 139 v14 (in two translations for clarity):

New International Version
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

New Living Translation
Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvellous—how well I know it.

For myself, the experience of hoverflies and flowers causes me to wonder and pause in thought. So does great music, amazing art, astounding science, and intriguing thought. Perhaps the psalmist knew something profound. May the thoughts of my mind seek out the thoughts of my Maker.

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