Most of my journey with God has been a series of baby steps, punctuated by a few big leaps. One of those leaps took place when I was walking to church one Sunday morning.
It was a beautiful, clear spring day, but the previous night there were heavy rains, heavy even by Seattle standards. An interesting phenomenon happens in the Pacific Northwest (and probably other places as well) when it rains hard the ground becomes saturated with water, the worms, unable to breathe, make for the surface by the thousands. Some remain on the lawns and burrow back down when the rains cease, but others crawl onto the road where they dry out and die. As I was walking to Church I noticed one worm in particular and I felt pity for it. So, I picked it up and threw it onto a patch of lawn, giving it an opportunity to burrow into the ground and live.
Suddenly I was struck by how much what had just happened was like God and me, and so in an effort to show God that I was starting to understand these truths I began to pray. “Lord, that’s like you and me. You saw me and found nothing good or interesting about me, in fact I was quite yucky and slimy. Yet, you reached out your hand and saved me just as I did that worm. I’m a lot smarter than that worm, a lot more beautiful, a lot more powerful, and that worm’s ability to love, to create, to reason, is as nothing compared to mine. That was a great illustration of You and me.”
I was pretty proud of myself for identifying such a great illustration. That was until God spoke to me. Now be aware, I’ve only had three times in my life where I’ve heard God speak. He doesn’t speak to me in an audible voice like he does with some of his other kids. Rather a message is placed in my mind. Basically here’s what God told me.
“Kyle, that is a little like what I did for you, but in one area you are still far off. It’s true that the gap between your strength and beauty and the worm’s is enormous. And your intelligence is unfathomable to the worm – it barely even has a brain. Your ability to reason, to love, to create is awesome when compared to the worm’s. But in all of those attributes the gap, though huge, is fixed. There is a distance and the distance is measurable and set. On the other hand, the gap between your wisdom and mine is infinite. I am infinitely more powerful, infinitely more beautiful and worthy, and my ability to love, to create and to reason is infinitely more than yours.”
And with that he was done talking.
I learned a lot about myself that morning, and a lot about God. As the old hymn goes “When we’ve been there 10,000 years….we’ve no less days to sing God’s praise” and we’ve no less days to learn about Him because a person of infinite depth will take eternity to be amazed at.
Fear not, you worm Jacob, you men of Israel! I am the one who helps you, declares the Lord; your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel. (Isaiah 41:14)