Monday, August 15, 2016

A Subtle Irony

Last week we went on an overnight trip from Dulce, NM to Ouray, CO.  As far as options for our route go, there are two, and we took the shortest one.  So we drove to Durango and then took the highway north.  A few miles after leaving Durango we saw a sign thanking the group that has taken on the responsibility of cleaning the litter along that section of the highway, the Durango Skeptics and Atheists

Hmm, I thought.  That, of all groups, is an ironic choice for this section of highway.  Shortly after passing the sign I took the picture to the right.  Robin was doing the driving so that I could see the sights.  We had made this trip one other time.  I drove that time and this route requires a high degree of concentration.  So she took on the driving and I enjoyed the views, taking this picture from the car as we went along at 55 MPH.

Taking a picture from the car doesn’t really do justice to how pretty things are on the road running north from Durango.  This section was pretty, but fairly tame.  A few more miles along and the landscape becomes more mountainous, and sharply so.  There are twists and turns.  There are sharp drop-offs without guardrails.  The speed limit decreases at places to 15 MPH.  If you look-up the Million Dollar Highway, the section from Silverton to Ouray, you'll quickly see why so much concentration is required to safely drive this route.     

Back to the Durango Skeptics and Atheists. Generally speaking, skeptics are people with doubts, specifically about the existence and purposes of God.  There might be a God, but they aren't sure and they lean more towards disbelief than belief.  And atheists deny the existence of God.  As far as they are concerned there is no God, and that is the end of the story.

Take a look at the photo I took from the moving car.  It gives just a taste of the majesty of the San Juan mountains in this part of Colorado.  And that majesty becomes more pronounced just a few miles farther along the highway.  And in the presence of this majesty, which I would call "creation," is a sign from a group that denies the existence of a Creator. A subtle bit of irony. 

As we look back and try to understand creation, I don’t have the answers to the ultimate questions of how it all came to be.  Neither do the Durango Skeptics and Atheists.  But as we look into the physical world, be it the views as majestic as those found along the Million Dollar Highway, or something much more commonplace, such as the lines marking my fingerprints, I can't find it possible that these things of exquisite complexity and beauty essentially created themselves.  To my mind, the presence of creation requires the presence of a Creator.   

To me it seemed as if the juxtaposition of a sign affirming a group of skeptics and atheists, in the presence of nature's majesty, was more than a little ironic.  Psalm 19 begins with this bit of truth,

"The heavens declare the glory of God,
    and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours out speech,
    and night to night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words,
    whose voice is not heard.
Their voice goes out through all the earth,
    and their words to the end of the world."

Without being too harsh on the skeptics and atheists I'll confess that for a long time, far too long really, my views on God were ill-defined and virtually non-existent.  But God is merciful and one day He opened my eyes, and it was to much more than the mere fact that the world is a marvelous and intricate piece of His creation.  It was to His very person, a person most fully revealed as Jesus Christ. 

May your eyes and heart be opened to the beauty and glory of God in the person of Jesus Christ.

Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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