i am in the midst of reading A.W. Tozer’s book “The Knowledge of the Holy”. here is one of my favorite quotes from it so far:
Thomas Carlyle, following Plato, pictures a man, a deep pagan thinker, who had grown to maturity in some hidden cave and is brought out suddenly to see the sun rise. ”What would his wonder be,” exclaims Carlyle, ”his rapt astonishment at the sight we daily witness with indifference! With the free, open sense of a child, yet with the ripe faculty of a man, his whole heart would be kindled by that sight…. This green flowery rock-built earth, the trees, the mountains, rivers, many-sounding seas; that great deep sea of azure that swims overhead; the winds sweeping through it; the black cloud fashioning itself together, now pouring out fire, now hail and rain; what is it? Ay, what? At bottom we do not yet know; we can never know at all.”How different are we who have grown used to it, who have become jaded with a satiety of wonder. ”
It is not by our superior insight that we escape the difficulty,” says Carlyle, ”it is by our superior levity, our inattention, our want of insight. It is by not thinking that we cease to wonder at it…. We call that fire of the black thundercloud electricity, and lecture learnedly about it, and grind the like of it out of glass and silk: but what is it? Whence comes it? Whither goes it? Science has done much for us; but it is a poor science that would hide from us the great deep sacred infinitude of Nescience, whither we can never penetrate, on which all science swims as a mere superficial film. This world, after all our science and sciences, is still a miracle; wonderful, inscrutable, magical and more, to whosoever will think of it.”
These penetrating, almost prophetic, words were written more than a century ago, but not all the breath-taking advances of science and technology since that time have invalidated one word or rendered obsolete as much as one period or comma. Still we do not know. We save face by repeating frivolously the popular jargon of science. We harness the mighty energy that rushes through our world; we subject it to fingertip control in our cars and our kitchens; we make it work for us like Aladdin’s jinn, but still we do not know what it is. Secularism, materialism, and the intrusive presence of things have put out the light in our souls and turned us into a generation of zombies. We cover our deep ignorance with words, but we are ashamed to wonder, we are afraid to whisper “mystery.”
when i read that, i realize how boring i am. there is a feast of wonder set before me and i am content eating “mudpies in the sand” (C.S. Lewis). when it comes to who God is, it is like an ocean to explore yet i am found playing in dirty puddles. i/we have lost the art of meditation…not the new age thing…but the contemplating on who God is and stopping to wonder in amazement of who He is and what He is like.
Job 36:23 says “behold, God is great and we do not know Him…”
you can read “Knowledge of the Holy” here