Sky Gazing as a Kid and Romans 1:20

CloudsMy family vacationed by driving hundreds, sometimes thousands, of miles at a time, usually to some National Park that was on the other side of the country. One particular trip was to the Grand Tetons. I was about 8 or 9 at the time and we lived in Cincinnati. Needless to say, driving to Jackson Hole, Wyoming gave me ample time to gaze out the window. For some reason I remember staring at the endless sky for hours upon end, the clouds so big and far off that they barely seemed to move compared to even the lofty mountains set against them. I was beginning to realize how huge they were and how small I was.

I hope kids today get to see snow-capped mountain peaks, towering Redwoods, and Big Montana skies… in person. Something tells me most don’t get to see these wonders nearly as much as I did. Why go there if you can watch a video of flying through the Grand Canyon on your computer?! This is a sad loss because we learn about God and ourselves in the process. There is no substitute for standing at the rim of the Grand Canyon and realizing that tiny little line in the middle of the valley is a raging river as wide as 100 feet across and 5 miles away. And there is no substitute for realizing how breathtakingly small we are.

Romans 1.20 tells of how “God’s invisible qualities-his eternal power and divine nature-have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made” (NIV). We know about what we can’t see from what we see. The rest is called faith, and that’s the part that saves us. We don’t know about God’s plan of a Savior who died for our sins without a more specific revelation from the lived and written Word. But the general revelation of nature gives us a picture of God as Creator that informs our understanding of reality. He created a universe that seems measureless compared to us and our calculations but that is small and limited when compared to the Creator.

I think this is an important lesson for kids growing up in a world where every imaginable food option is as close as a trip to the grocery store. Kids grow up thinking food is made in factories, as if the process of making a seed grow is something humanity invented. Ask a kid, “Where do chickens come from?” and they’re likely to say “chicken factories” or, if they’re particularly sophisticated, “Hatcheries… Everybody knows that!”

In a world of tactile interactivity and easy options where kids are discipled by culture to be cool, I want my kids to gaze out the window and cultivate awe, wondering how big God must be to make clouds, stars, and galaxies.

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One Response

  1. Amen bro. Great thought. I remember those family trips. Back before they had gameboys and cd/dvd players. Shoot, when I was a kid all we had were big chief tablets and a number 2 pencile (Sorry “the dad” was coming out in me). Loved your thoughts!

    Trey

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