Nothing is Random!

September 13th was a Harvest Moon in the Northern Hemisphere. A Harvest Moon is the closest moon to the autumn equinox which "falls" (pun intended!) on Monday, September 23.  The next one falling on Friday the 13th will be in thirty years in August 2049. These calendar oddities are rare to see in one's lifetime! The last Friday the 13th Harvest Moon was on October 13, 2000. I tried for two nights to capture the unique beauty of this Harvest Moon without success. Actually, no picture does this justice. I think it is best to view this phenomenon with the naked eye!

Monique and I were riding home last Friday evening from Lincoln and repeatedly looked left and right as we traveled south to Sherman. In the eastern sky, there was emerging an extra large Harvest Moon in all of its golden wonder. Then, looking to the horizon in the west at the same time, we enjoyed a beautiful and expansive dark orange light show in the pre-fall sunset. It was another convergence of God's handiwork in the creative order that was calculated eons before He would give voice to the inception of this world, "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. And God made the two great lights - the greater to rule the day and the lesser to rule the night - and the stars" (Genesis 1:1,16 ESV).
A Harvest Moon... 6:00 a.m., the Morning After!

When I consider the visual breadth of the created order, I use words like precision, predictability and perfection! Years ago, when I was in seminary, Dr. William Tolar was my Biblical Backgrounds professor. I can still remember his enthusiastic teaching during one class period as he instructed and celebrated the uniqueness of God's creative work in the universe.

In particular, Dr. Tolar was explaining the precision of how the earth's axis delicately tilts away from the sun during winter and toward the sun in the summer months. If it tilted too much away, we would freeze and conversely, if it tilted too much toward the sun, we would burn up. But God has designed all things perfectly and we need never worry about such hypotheticals!

Often we hear the remark, "That's luck!" That's what Monique likes to dismissively tease when I find a good parking spot at the local big box store! I respond to her jabbing, "No! That's skill!" Of course it is hard for me to persuade the uninitiated that my obvious "skill" is not something random! 😉

One thing I do know is that there is order in creation and God is sustaining all of this. We can analyze and observe, but we are always catching up to what He is doing. Science is fascinating with all of its theories and hypotheses, but theology gives it all meaning. There is God and He is at work in His world! He is not removed and aloof, but rather active and involved with His creation and His created ones.

What does all of this mean to me? It assures me that my life has meaning and that God is purposive in His plan for me. I can use the word "luck" or "lucky," but as a child of faith, there isn't anything that just happens outside of the plans of God. God is watchful over us and everything in this world. His thoughts toward us are infinite. The Psalmist exclaims a comforting truth, "How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake , and I am still with you" (Ps. 139:17-18).

The acreage across the road from our house is undergoing the change of harvest. The corn was picked yesterday and the landscape has opened up toward the west once again. Throughout the summer growing season, we have been walled in by six foot stalks of Illinois corn. Visually, now after the picking, things seem open and expansive again. We see things differently because the seasons are changing. And the nighttime sky is lighted up like a concert of creation! The brightness, bigness, and beauty of the Father's world are shining forth in all their brilliance.  It pictures a satisfied Creator who reflects once again, "And God saw that it was good! Very good!" (Gen. 1:10,12,18,25,31).

Do you need to see things differently these days? Look up! God is opening up the sky of our lives with beauty and purpose in our days! Be captivated with wonder and worship once again!

Mike Keppler, retired pastor,
active churchman and
doting grandparent.


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