January 15, 2010

A Jumbled Mass of Flesh & Bone

Try this next time you're out driving (or riding in) a car.

Take a look around you. Notice the other cars in front of you, beside you, behind you. If you want, you can even count them. Now, take a step back, away from your own narrow prerogative, to the "bigger picture" scale. Look at the cars again, only, this time, see each one for what it is. See each car as a symbol of the person behind the wheel. You are surrounded by people. No longer a mass of unidentified cars, but people. They all have names, like Greg or Ashley or Sam. They all have faces, and behind each of those faces lies a lifetime of memories. Each of those people are infinitely complex, intricately put together.

Just like you.

But what makes each of them a "person?" When you get down to it, what makes a person move, feel, cry, laugh, taste, touch, smell, sing? What is a person? Am I a face? A jumbled mess of flesh and bone, through which I view the world around me? Am I the set of teeth inside my mouth? That may sound silly, but it's just as arbitrary as assuming that I am the rest of my face. You can take a man's arm off, and he is still a man. You can cover a man in burns, until he is unrecognizable, and he is still that same man. What makes us go? What makes us tick? Is it bio-electricity? If so, how in the world did it get started, then? Did some lightening bolt strike some lucky mass of flesh and sinew and bone and begin pumping its already-formed heart? Am I to believe that the synapses and receptor sites in my brain were conditioned to "take" before they were charged with whatever mysterious current it is that fuels our lives? That's like shaking all of the pieces to a watch in a huge box, saying that they'll come together eventually and form the original, working watch, even though you kept the batteries in your hand the whole time.

Is it so hard to believe that we have a soul? An unexplainable, unfathomable spirit within our bodies? Is it so hard to take a look around you, see all of these other beings, each different and unimaginably complicated, and arrive to the conclusion that there's something just as complicated and unimaginable behind it all? How often do we think of that? How often do we notice the people around us, and acknowledge that each and every one of them has a lifetime of experience and memories behind them?

I don't know. Life itself just seems so mysterious and elaborate, so convoluted to our own perception, but ordered to a degree that we can't even see with our own eyes. With that in mind, I have no problem at all believing that there is a God out there, and He is responsible for all of this.

And if that's true, wouldn't you want to acknowledge Him as well?