When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
The moon and the stars, which You have ordained . . .
THE WORKS THAT GOD HAS DONE CAN HAVE A GREAT IMPACT UPON US IF WE PAY ATTENTION TO THEM. Whether we consider God’s works as those of creation (His world) or of revelation (His word), both can affect us powerfully, pulling us into a more reverent and grateful response to Him. Yet neither nature nor the Scriptures are powerful enough to impress us if we are unobservant. For the significance of what we see and hear to sink in and alter our character and conduct, we have to pay attention.
Senses. If all five of our physical senses are working normally, we should consider that a great gift. The ability to see, hear, taste, touch, and smell is a marvelous ability. Philosophers have long debated how much of our knowledge comes from sensory experience, but few would deny that our knowledge is linked to our senses in some important way. Our senses are our connection to the greater reality that surrounds us. But as wonderful an endowment as they are, our senses do us little good if we don’t use them. Surely, most of us would profit from getting out of the artificial “cocoon” in which we live so much of our lives and getting our senses — all five of them — engaged with the world “out there.” We need more, rather than less, contact with the sensory world that exists outside of our own minds and our own selves.
Minds. If our senses must be used, however, they must be used thoughtfully, and here is where our minds come into play. We need to think more deliberately about what we experience through our senses. Perhaps I may say it this way: we need to savor that which we experience rather than gulp it down mindlessly.
David spoke of good things that happened to his thinking when he “considered” the works of God. God has given His word and His world not only for us to use and to enjoy — but also for us to meditate upon. The fact is, we need significant contact with the works that God has wrought. When we disconnect either our senses or our minds from these great things, we deteriorate.
“A day spent without the sight or sound of beauty, the contemplation of mystery, or the search for truth or perfection is a poverty-stricken day; and a succession of such days is fatal to human life” (Lewis Mumford).