I’m about to let you in on the strange inner workings of my mind. In case you hadn’t picked up on it yet, my thoughts can be kind of quirky.
Corban was home this morning, not feeling well, so we were watching some old Looney Tunes cartoons. We watched one in which Bugs Bunny wandered into Paul Bunyan’s garden.
[Quick primer on Paul Bunyan, in case you’ve forgotten: according to American folklore, he was a giant lumberjack who had an ox named Blue and did all sorts of amazing exploits, such as creating the Grand Canyon when he carelessly dragged his ax along the ground behind him.]
In the cartoon Bugs Bunny has clearly been traveling for some time and he decides to sit down and rest his “foot bones” for a while, but doesn’t know he’s in somebody’s garden. He leans back against a giant carrot, which is growing in Paul’s garden, but Bugs doesn’t immediately recognize it.
The carrots there are so large that he can’t see them for what they are.
Finally, his sense of smell kicks in. Thinking he smells carrot, Bugs looks around, figures he’s discovered a carrot mine and, in true cartoon style, has carved out a mining rail system in a matter of minutes and is hauling out bits of carrot.
You may be asking, what on earth does this have to do with God? Great question.
The picture of Bugs Bunny and the carrot is a great metaphor for the way I think about God and the universe.
I remember lying on my bed when I was young trying to comprehend God, time, eternity (both past and future) and a universe without boundaries. And if there were boundaries, what’s beyond them? Can there be an end without a beginning on the other side? I would picture it like a never-ending spiral and give up out of frustration, with my mind blown.
Sometimes I imagine myself on our huge – yet relatively small – planet, out in space, orbiting the sun like an electron inside an atom, which is actually inside of God – as if we are so deeply part of someone so huge that we can’t see who He is.
I know, that sounds so out there.
I’m not saying that’s the way things really are (it’s not good theology) but it’s my way of imagining something so big, that’s right in front of my face, but that I can only see in part.
And when we see in part, we don’t always know what to make of what we see.
We see pieces of things, we get bits of information and understanding, we see the things He has made, but God is so big that it can be hard to put it all together. There are some things that don’t make sense to us now, especially the hard things.
Some people are never able to come to grips with that, and, so, choose to believe He isn’t there at all. Some concoct theories and scientific philosophies that, in my view, are much harder to swallow than believing in a God who created the universe.
But, if we could pan way out, if we could zoom to the edges of the universe, to the edge of time, what might we see? If we had the entire picture in view, I think we’d all probably say,
For now, however, we’re left with the Word, the Spirit and our senses to see in a glass dimly (we are not ill-equipped here).
But, don’t let the gaps in the picture cause you to throw the whole thing out. He has left His mark on the whole creation, with its beauty, its order and its magnitude.
He is not hiding as some might think.
In other words, if it looks like a carrot and smells like a carrot, it’s probably a carrot.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.” For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. Romans 1:16-17, 19-20 ESV