How piece by piece, one intricate detail after another is woven together to form our natural world, each part fitting exactly where it should, doing exactly what it must. Dwell on this too long and you risk your head exploding at the sheer improbability of it all.
Intelligently designed by a divine Creator, or a chance explosion that sparked life in to existence? I leave those debates for others to address which the Good and faithful ColorStorm does here in his excellent post on the logic of God’s calling card. Reading it inspired me to share some recent experiences of mine while in Hawaii.
First, I know I’ve said this before, but I am absolutely gob smacked by nature. The stunning beauty of our world and the wonderfully bizarre creatures that inhabit it, often leave me breathless. Add in the fact that each living thing has a unique and carefully crafted purpose and it’s enough to stop me in my tracks.
This happened many times during my trip to the Aloha State, one being when I decided to join some other nature obsessed lunatics to catch the sunrise at the top of a volcano in
Maui’s Haleakala National Park.
There we stood freezing our butts off, wondering if that 3am wake up call was worth it, when all of a sudden the sun popped up, bursting over a sea of clouds. After initial shouts of joy, all of us became silent and still, just awestruck for several minutes. The glory of the moment sunk in as God so plainly showed his face.
In addition to their beauty, volcanoes also serve a very practical purpose. Without their eruptions the earth would eventually run out of carbon dioxide and the human race would go poof. Fortunately for us, each volcanic burst spews tons of CO2 back in to the atmosphere, along with essential nutrients that get spread to surrounding soil. Because of this the most fertile lands in the world can be found at the base of volcanoes. The cycle of life is both protected and spread by this process.
Mere seconds after your head dips underwater you’re surrounded by the most bizarre and beautiful sights like the Parrotfish, whose silly lips kept smiling at me.
Parrotfish play a huge role in keeping delicate coral reef healthy and replenished by preventing the algae that gathers on top from suffocating it. Turns out its numerous teeth and parrot like beak are perfect for algae munching, which the fish will grind in its mouth along with bits of reef that get sent through it’s digestive system and then deposited back to the reef as white coral sand. Again, a perfect cycle of life protection and renewal in action!
And if that’s not enough the Parrotfish often acts as a mode of transport for the always hungry Cornetfish, which will hitch a ride on its back to sneak up on unsuspecting prey. I’m not sure what the Parrotfish gets in return for this, but their symbiotic relationship is fascinating to ponder.
An oddity of sorts is the Black Durgon Triggerfish. With its dark coloring and bright white border, the fish is striking to look at. It’s claim to fame though lies in garbage pick up, as they can keenly read dolphins and know precisely when they are getting ready to, um, release previously eaten food. The Black Durgon position themselves appropriately near the back or front end and waits for the inevitable meal to pop out which they will attack with gusto!
Not a glamor job by any means for this beauty, but a very purposeful one. The waste and vomit they gobble up provide essential nutrients, while keeping the water pristine and liveable for its fellow sea dwellers. Again the familiar cycle is repeated, recycle, replenish, renew.
Hawaii is an easy place to be reminded of how stunning our world is and how connected its interlocking parts; the raw beauty of it all practically smacking you upside the head the moment you arrive.
It’s true anywhere of course, as this symbiosis is found in everything. One part doing it’s job and unknowingly affecting others in countless ways, with all the little bits and pieces gravitating to exactly the right spot at the right time. Beauty in constant motion.
Is there no entity directing all this? No ray of light showing us the way? For me it’s become impossible to believe there is not. Yes, seeds of doubt at times gnaw at my soul, but whispers of truth eventually become screams too loud to ignore.
Or as George Washington Carver once said, “I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station, through which God speaks to us every hour, if we will only tune in.”
Yes, God is in the details and it’s all good.