“He causes his sun to rise…” Matthew 5:45
Took a walk with my friend Phil yesterday morning. The heat was just beginning to rise, a tinge of smoke flavoring the air.
The foothills were rising before us and Phil had observed that he doesn’t have to make the mountains remain standing.
What a curious thought.
So I ran with it.
No, we don’t make the mountains stand, the wind blow or the sun rise, for that matter. What exhausting folly to imagine it so! And yet what exhausting folly we engage in daily when we imagine we must make everything else rise or fall as the need may be. How hard we work at lifting up our lives, trying to produce moments, to make profit, to launch a career, to form a relationship, to enjoy a ‘vacation,’ to achieve, to perform, to accomplish, to do and do and do and do, et al ad nauseum…
And how much we miss in the process.
How hard we work at holding up the world. And I suppose it’s only natural. It’s what we imagine God is doing.
And then I thought of God.
Just how much effort does he expend in causing “his sun to rise”? Does he grunt and shove and push and heave and sweat and strain to keep the earth rotating today, to make the sun rise and the moon set, to hold the hills in place, to keep the world breathing and eating and spinning?
The creation psalms reveal a different view. The frolicking Creator and Sustainer, the One who inhabits eternity and so frets not over the ticking clock, seeking to stay its hands, but who rather is able to be present in each expansive moment, experiencing each second as pregnant with a thousand possibilities to birth and explore. Hairs are numbered, sparrows seen, wildflowers dressed and caressed, the monsters of our greatest nightmares but rubber ducks in his tub, responsive to every playful movement of his hand moving in rhythmic harmony to the song from his lips.
No, God doesn’t hold up all things, Atlas like, straining with every sinew to keep it all together. He holds all things together “by the word of his power.” And I would venture that word is more song than sermon, more rhythm than regulations.
And what might we learn from that?
Phil, you and I should take a walk more often.