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Humility again

Submitted by martinleech on Tue, 02/02/2021 - 12:19

I have on occasion had the privilege of visiting some spectacularly beautiful places. It is absolutely the case that there are places and views that literally take your breath away. For me, that would tend to be in mountainous and wilderness areas, or when I look at the night sky. When we lived in rural East Anglia there were times when we would go outside on a very clear night and gasp at the spectacular sight of countless stars sparkling brightly against the dark sky... We could see the Milky Way, like a faint cloud of light stretching across the sky, the constellations were clear and the planets would be shining more brightly than the brightest stars. You could read by the light of the full moon.

The diversity, beauty, colour and activity of the natural world of animals and plants provides a seemingly endless source of fascination and amazement. Sometimes the works of human beings, in science, technology and architecture for instance, or achievements in arts or sports, can cause us to be amazed, even awestruck. It has to be acknowledged as well that there are some things that happen which are also breath-taking, but not in a happy or positive way. The coronavirus pandemic is causing catastrophically big trouble for the world. There is something awesome about it - even fearful - but not in any good way. 

The flipside of this is that, one way or another, we are made aware of our own smallness and limitations. Rather than being overwhelmed, or depressed, by such thinking, we should instead recognise that it is good to feel a right sense of who we are. I can't help but think that in the coronavirus pandemic there needs to be a lot more humility. This is something big and it is reminding us over and again of our own frailty and helplessness before the forces of nature. How much more though ought we to be aware of our own smallness before the infinitely great and awesome God who made all things. For all the awe, amazement or fear that we may experience from the things of the created world, it is my firm conviction that the greatest problem we have is simply that we have no fear of God (Romans 3:18) and, consequently, so very few people seek Him (Romans 3:11)