Fearfully and wonderfully made

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. (Psalm 139:14, TNIV)

It was a magnificent sunset! The sun dipped into the ocean at a far-off spot called the horizon. The multicolored layers of lights stretching over the ocean created a panoply of splendor. Such artwork can only be splashed onto the canvas by a divine painter. It was a moment to savor. It wouldn’t last long enough. Already night was trying to edge its way onto the canvas.

We stood transfixed, relishing the beauty. Our conversation was hushed. Our eyes were large. In our hearts, we yearned to imprint the scene on our memories so that we might call it up whenever life grew stale. What must it be to live in a place like this and have access to this splendor every twenty-four hours!

We turned to look up at the houses that lined the beach. I mused, “That must be some pretty pricey real estate. And what you pay for is the view.” The house just above me had to be the most expensive one on the beach. Its windows were grand—giant picture windows staring out at the beach and the ocean beyond. “Imagine looking out those each evening’” I thought, “at this splendid vista!”

And then I noticed something. A man was sitting in a large easy chair just inside one of the windows. I could see the back of his head. He sat watching a giant screen television. The screen was large enough that i could see the tennis match that had captured his attention. But there was something else. we noticed that every single chair in front of these grand picture windows was facing the television. Not a single chair faced the ocean.

Can you understand that? Or let me ask you about certain other scenes. Can you understand the man who stands in front of Michelangelo’s “David” with his hat on? Can you understand the teenage girl who prances down the aisle of the Notre Dame Cathedral observation of birth for the first time? Can you understand the physician who knows much about the detail and marvel of the human body and yet is not overwhelmed with gratitude?

It’s hard for me to understand some of those. But I have my own picture windows where I sit facing the television. Occasionally, in my more lucid moment, I turn my chair toward the horizon and suddenly realize, “It’s just so easy to grow accustomed to the sacred, to the splendor.”

Maybe that’s why the psalmist said, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well” (Psalm 139:14,TNIV). Today would be a good time to turn your chair outward—toward the horizon — and praise God for the splendor of His handiwork.

– Randy Roberts