I went to the planetarium at the University of Louisville during Fall Break with my boyfriend. He is continually teaching me new things, in areas in which I have not been familiar with in times past. He is more thoughtful, more creative, than anyone I have come in contact with thus far, and because of that he is always spurring me on to dive deeper into those things I know little about. Astronomy is one such area of interest and honestly, utter fascination, so he was pretty excited about escorting me to the planetarium. The last time I can recall going to one was so long ago, the only vague memory I have is of being in this dark room with the ceiling spinning as the multiple constellations were being pointed out. Such a memory depicts just how little I remember and how disinterested I was at the time. However, this trip was a completely new experience for me. Not only did we sit in a similar room, but we then went outside and were able to look through a telescope at certain things in the night sky. The picture above is of the Andromeda Galaxy, and even though we did view it through the telescope, our limited sight saw what looked like a blurry speck through the lens. Such an experience puts not only our humanity into perspective, but also the very God who called such things into existence when there was nothing.
I often speak of the beauties of creation, pointing out the various, intricate ways in which the Sovereign Lord reveals Himself. Certain scenes take my breath away, and I spend the remainder of the day almost in a daze as I am speechless in my feeble attempt to capture what my eyes have seen. Not only am I often captured by the changing of seasons, the sun setting in the distance, a steady rain saturating the ground beneath my feet, but I am also drawn to music which speaks of such things. And it was through such music that I became aware of something that had not struck me previously when listening to (singing along with) this particular song.
Chris Rice brings into view these magnificent expression of God's glory and concludes the verses with "give testimony that You are..." and "unveil our Father as you sing..." and "there is no higher praise than this..." For the first time (and mind you, I have been loving this song for many years), I realized how incorrect such a perspective on creation is. A lady I know said of a man she met in a grocery store, "He can't truly enjoy life because he doesn't know and enjoy the One who created him." When you look at a passage such as Psalm 8, you see that the display of beauty in His creation does not compare to that which is displayed in those He created in His image.
As I mentioned previously, this came as a somewhat shocking realization considering how often I am compelled to sing this particular song. The words shed light on those aspects of the world that leave me in utter awe and inability to speak, but creation is NOT the highest praise... As breathtaking, as awe-inspiring as creation is, there is something more beautiful, more worthy of awe and praise. Isaiah 43 points out that God created man to display His glory in order that His glory might be known and praised. He does not become more glorious in how He creates and calls--no. He, in His grace, called us to be the crowning display of His glory. O, how humbling this truth is, and how abruptly it puts things into perspective. He has given us the very eyes to behold the intricate beauties He has meticulously set in place and in motion. How small we are, and how glorious He is. "The pulse of life within my wrist..." This short phrase in the song should move us to praise more than all of the others...to the praise of His glorious grace.