Man Must Know His Limitations

Posted: April 19, 2013

If, as some say, we live in a universe where all that exists is merely an accident of nature, can we really be the global movers and shakers we foolishly assume ourselves to be?

If we do not acknowledge there is a transcendent Creator of the universe who ordains for humanity value, purpose, and responsibility, we have no perspective on life. We live and die only for ourselves. We have no sense of place as creatures and stewards of a world we did not create and are powerless to change or sustain. We are at the mercy of feckless natural and political forces, which become gods.

What does it say about human arrogance to argue that a limited group, such as “industrialists” or “environmentalists,” has the power to change the climate change on a global scale? Why did one generation raise an alarm about global cooling while, a few years later, another generation predicts the dire consequences of global warming? A crisis of some kind is always upon us, and political objectives designed to manipulate the masses are proposed that are unrelated to millennia of natural phenomenon.

Was there some point in human development when scientific knowledge and achievement unlocked the powers of the universe for human control? If
so, why does nature persistently defy the human will to occupy unsafe coastal regions? Having polluted and/or destroyed natural resources, must we not live with the consequences?

The Earth seems to groan under human abuses, but it continues turning on its axis. Climate changes, much to the chagrin of humans who wish to control their destiny. If narcissistic humanity cannot live with the way God made the world to work, we will surely go the way of other extinct species. Meanwhile, the Earth will continue and life will adapt as the last human cries out, “I think, therefore I am!” So what? Did the universe notice the coming of the Enlightenment or its collapse into progressivism? Our sense of importance deludes us. Perhaps the One who creates and sustains life will notice, but fewer acknowledge His existence or His compassion for humanity as a whole. The Enlightened want nothing to do with something they cannot control. And God is uncontrollable.

Hanging on the wall in my study is a 2-by-3 foot portrait of the Milky Way. In the center, positioned between two spiral arms of millions of stars, is an arrow pointing to a very tiny dot of light representing our Solar System. Printed on the arrow is, “You are here, approximately.” It reorients and assesses my human perspective.

Often beyond our limited comprehension is the idea that, in the vastness of the universe, a transcendent Being views humanity as important. The ancient sage, Job, questioned why God should pay attention to him. He wished it were otherwise. “What is man that You should magnify him and think him important? How long will Your [plaguing] glance not look away from me, nor You let me alone till I swallow my spittle?”

There is more to the human presence than we can imagine, so much more that there is one whose sole intent is to bring humanity into confusion. Supposing ourselves to be enlightened, we assume to change social structures which for millennia have made the human family a fundamental institution formed by the marriage of a man and woman. We imagine ourselves superior to the Lawgiver and Creator of life, killing the unborn and born alike who, through the miraculous process of conception, are children of God’s creative act.

The Ruler of the universe will not look away, and His “plaguing” glance is on those who do.

Eugene Buie, a retired minister, lives in Harrisonburg.

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