I wrote this back in August when I first decided to respond in writing to Clyde Kilby’s 10 resolutions for mental health. As it is now November, I am clearly trying to climb my way back onto the blogging wagon, seeing as I fell off back in August. Can you say blogger guilt?
“At least once every day I shall look steadily up at the sky and remember that I, a consciousness with a conscience, am on a planet traveling in space with wonderfully mysterious things above and about me.”
Today I looked steadily up at the sky. It was hot and humid and the sky was full of enormous clouds. They stood in giant mounds, white on top but heavy on the bottom with gray potential. Where the sun was hidden the clouds were rimmed in an over-brilliant white—the kind of white that makes you squint. My excuse for such bold sky staring was a trip to the rental office to pay this month’s rent. As I walked I thought about Kilby’s statement: I, a consciousness with a conscience, am on a planet traveling in space with wonderfully mysterious things above and about me.
Back from my mundane quest and mulling over those words, I easily understand his passion for the mysterious things that surround us. The hot breeze that makes my hair stick to my forehead is mysterious. How does it ruffle the trees and then vanish? What is its point of origin? What is its exotic destination? The clouds themselves are mysterious. They hang heavy in the sky but float along on the softest breeze. Each white plume seems to grow as you watch it, soaking up the moisture in the air like a giant kitchen sponge. The gray cast of light makes everything seem dim, yet the clouds around the sun are brilliant with August heat. The cosmos we inhabit are mysterious, to be sure, but so are these everyday miracles of nature. I agree with Kilby; these gifts of extraordinary beauty are wonderfully mysterious. As I sit and ponder, though, I wonder at his including a statement about our human condition. I am a “consciousness with a conscience,” but what difference does that make in the face of such overwhelming mystery? Why mention my state at all—why not just marvel at the God of nature?
The nearest answer I can find is that our very condition is a wonderfully mysterious thing. We are not just conscious of the beauty that surrounds us, but we are conscious that it is good. We are conscious that the giver of these gifts is good and we are mysteriously blessed to be here on this ordinary day under a hot sun.
Our conscience tells us that there cannot be such great beauty and such unrivaled mysteries above and about us without a God to whom the glory can be given. We must choose to remember, when we drive home and see the clouds piled high on the sunset or when we glance out the window at a rain shower, to be thankful that we are conscious of this beauty. We must also remember that we can only respond to such beauty because of the God who sculpts the clouds and provides the rain.
For me personally, this resolution serves to remind me of the reason I have always enjoyed looking at the clouds; every day they are uniquely beautiful. I have never seen two skies that look exactly the same. Today I am reminded that only an infinitely beautiful and infinitely creative God could provide unique skies over us all our lives. He is the wonderfully mysterious thing above and about us.