Monday, October 10, 2011

Check Out Our Awesome Hamster Wheel


"What do people gain from all their labors
   at which they toil under the sun?
Generations come and generations go,
   but the earth remains forever.
The sun rises and the sun sets,
   and hurries back to where it rises.
The wind blows to the south
   and turns to the north;
round and round it goes,
   ever returning on its course.
All streams flow into the sea,
   yet the sea is never full.
To the place the streams come from,
   there they return again.
All things are wearisome,
   more than one can say." 

-Ecclesiastes 1:3-8

I hate routine. I guess Solomon did, too.

Before working at City on a Hill, I was a high school teacher, and there were so many times when I would get ready for work, or for bed, asking myself, "Didn't I just do this?" "Wasn't I just here?" It was like I was on a hamster wheel. Wake up, get dressed, drive to school, check email, first period, second period, third...drive home, eat...read my daughter a bed time story (usually the same one for weeks).

Nature reflects this monotony and contributes to it. We're on this cycle because Earth is too. It rotates every twenty four hours, so most people punch in and punch out accordingly. Under the sun, that is apart from a practical faith in God, this is often dull, meaningless drudgery.

NASA has constructed a satellite to orbit Mercury. Due to Mercury's close proximity to the sun, one side of the planet is always day, the other always night. As a result, the satellite has to routinely withstand a one thousand degree temperature swing. What a life-enabling blessing it is to have a planet that turns every twenty four hours! What conspicuous luck that our planet's tilt and orbit give us four seasons within 365 days. How fortunate that we have water...that evaporates into the air to form clouds...to dump the water back down...so that the water can run into the rivers...that run into the sea...that is never full...so that this life-giving cycle may repeat and repeat. How fortunate we are to have wind that blows, which aids our oceans currents, which churns marine nutrients, which facilitates the growth of algae, which produces most of our oxygen. And, how fortunate we are to have eyes and ears to see and hear it all!

Earth's routine is not a grind. It's a gift.

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