Friday, September 03, 2021

A sense of wonder

In reality man has not unlimited powers over the earth, as he has not over stars or winds. He has not even complete power over himself. In the absolute sense, neither the world nor his own life belongs to him. And of the things he does more-or less control, he controls not the essence but only the appearance, as is evident to anyone who has ever looked with unclouded vision in the face even of a flower or a stone. The question then is, Who is the lord? Who owns all that exists? The universe is not a waif, nor is life a derelict, abandoned and unclaimed. All things belong to God. So the pious man regards the forces of nature, the thoughts of his own mind, life, and destiny as the property of God. This governs his attitude toward all things. He does not grumble when calamities befall him, or lapse into despair, for he knows that all in life is a concern of the divine because all is in the divine possession.—Abraham Joshua Heschel in Moral Grandeur and Spiritual Audacity: Essays, 314–15

<idle musing>
I just read the end of Job this morning. Heschel could be channeling God's speech from it here. I'm also reminded of Psalm 8:4:

what are human beings
that you think about them;
what are human beings that you pay attention to them? (CEB)
or Psalm 19:
Heaven is declaring God’s glory;
the sky is proclaiming his handiwork.
2 One day gushes the news to the next,
and one night informs another
what needs to be known.
3 Of course, there’s no speech, no words—
their voices can’t be heard—
4 but their soundk extends
throughout the world;
their words reach the ends
of the earth. (CEB)
Or. . . you get the idea. YHWH is truly marvelous and his ways beyond understanding. When we think of that, we can't help but stand—or kneel—in awe!
</idle musing>

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