He loves righteousness and justice;
the earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord.
There are innumerable examples of Gods love that we take for granted most days. The miraculous, invisible hand that holds the sea’s high tide at bay. The natural fear and trepidation of flesh eating animals at the sight or sound of humans. The immune system’s ability to make sure we don’t catch colds once and then fight for clear nostrils the rest of our lives. Though we tend to give much more “press” to those things in nature that are much more calamitous, the truth stands that there are an awesome amount of things that help us, protect us, and sustain our lives that happen every day without our help, request, or acknowledgment.
Theologians refer to these examples of God’s love, the love that is built into the systems and mechanisms of life, as common grace. Common grace covers more than just these examples, but it is safe to say that the fact that we don’t all drown in the high tide is God’s mercy. In an old cartoon I remember seeing as child (I believe it was called “U.S. Acres”), there was a duck who dealt with paranoia at a debilitating level. His barnyard friends tried to comfort and console him, but it was no use. Much of the theme of the episode, if I remember correctly, had to do with the duck’s paralyzing fear that the law of gravity could and would be repealed. This seems ridiculous to us. We know that until Morgan Freeman is President of the United States nothing that catastrophic will ever take place on earth. But, in reality, we believe that gravity didn’t just “appear”, God created it. Even as “Bible-people” we have no problem saying that God created the animals and people, but when you begin suggesting that He created mathematics, physics, and logic the mood changes.
Like a car with certain featured “standard”, we find that in our daily lives, the physics and science of the world on geographical, psychological, ecological, geological, and other “logical” levels is literally packed full of God’s love and grace. There’s no way around it. So, is it any wonder that Jesus said rocks would render praise if people failed to do so? Are they not already testifying unto the beauty, mercy, and love of God with every second that they hold their form and stand firm beneath us?
Maybe, just maybe, if we were to slow down for a few moments today things would start to make more sense. Paul, had to have had a moment as he wrote:
…in [Jesus] all things hold together”
Everything. All of the laws of nature, all of the gravitational forces of the universe, all of the rules of math, science, physics, love, hate, good, evil…all of us…everything. This entire thing would fly apart if not for His hand holding the knot. Or more accurately, everything would cease to be if He so chose to let go of the fabric of our universe.
So, if we were to set aside a mere 10 minutes today to just “be”, and to recognize what has gone into us making it to the point that we are at, all of the things that had to go right today in order for life to continue moving forward, if we could do that I have a suspicion that worship would come much more naturally and feel much less forced. Worship is, among other things, induced by the realization of something much larger, much more glorious, and much closer than imagined.