“For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1:20).
EVERYWHERE IN GOD’S CREATION THERE ARE TRACES OF GOD HIMSELF. The American Heritage Dictionary gives this as the most basic meaning of the word “trace”: “A visible mark or sign of the former presence or passage of a person, thing, or event.” Surely, we are surrounded by traces of God. God has not left Himself without marks or signs that He has been here. So telling are the tokens of His creativity, we can hardly come into contact with anything God has done without being reminded of the power of His existence and the richness of His love.
God’s existence. The all-important fact that “God is real” is announced to us by the marvels He has left behind. If we fail to see this truth, it is not because it has not been made plain to us: “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.”
God’s benevolence and beauty. As important as it is for us to recognize the traces of God’s existence, it is even more important for us to see what the creation says about His nature. Just as surely as any work of art ever revealed the heart of the artist, God’s creative work tells us that He is a God of love. A world like the one we live in could not have been made by a God who did not take delight in beauty and joy and even good humor. The Alps and the Grand Canyon surely make some kind of comment on God’s nature. But so do the dandelion and the duckbilled platypus!
Our purpose as vessels to receive God’s joy. Surrounded by so many traces of God, how can we take in the wonders of the world and miss what these wonders say about us? The very fact that we have the ability to meditate rationally on these things and appreciate their significance ought to persuade us that we were made for something more than mere existence. We were made to be receptacles: vessels into which our Father wishes to pour His delight.
“As the hand is made for holding and the eye for seeing, You have fashioned me for joy. Share with me the vision that shall find it everywhere: in the wild violet’s beauty, in the lark’s melody, in the face of a steadfast man, in a child’s smile, in a mother’s love, in the purity of Jesus” (A Gaelic Prayer).