Things Too Wonderful for Me
How many are your works, O Lord! In wisdom you made
them all; the earth is full of your creatures. There is the sea,
vast and spacious, teeming with creatures beyond number—
living things both large and small. There the ships go to and fro,
and the leviathan, which you formed to frolic there.
How easy it is to peer at the world and see only as far as the narrowness of our own imaginations will allow! Rather than the stress and strain of mystery, we choose the safety of simplicity, transforming a brilliant full color picture into a plain black and white two-dimensional image.
In this passage, intimations of the complexities of the canvas are suggested: “There is the sea, vast and spacious, teeming with creatures beyond number—living things both large and small.” When the element of mystery is removed, we are reduced to “explanations” that elucidate very little. Our current approach to understanding the world would suggest that the human mind can formulate a theory of everything, whereas the truth can only be approached if we abide in the mystery of creation and the mystery of the Creator.
“The Lord answered Job out of the storm. He said, ‘Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge. Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me. Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand’” (Job 38:2–4). After being presented with countless unanswerable questions, Job submits to the Lord: “Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know” (Job 42:3).
Wisdom begins by acknowledging the mystery that exists at the center of life and of our lives: “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter . . .” (Proverbs 25:2).
—Eric Kampmann, Signposts