An incident that happened during one of our family’s back yard dinners many years ago continues to provide insight for me as I search to join my faith and science.
Our family was sitting at our picnic table, umbrella above, ready to start eating. Suddenly an ant dropped down from the umbrella and “plop” landed on the bun of my hamburger. It immediately scurried off the side and “plop again” landed in a small puddle of excess ketchup. Apparently ketchup and ants do not mix well and the ant’s attempts at escape rapidly became weaker and weaker. Touched by its struggles, I rescued the ant with my knife and deposited it into a water puddle created from condensation on my ice tea glass. A bit of a stir separated the ant from the ketchup. The ant slowly recovered from its Heinz hangover and started moving. After a short rest, the ant was off again, and this time launched off the side of the table into the Astroturf patio carpet. It was last seen scrambling over and under the carpet fibers in its escape from the plastic jungle.
I jokingly said “boy, will that be a story when it gets home for dinner tonight !” Mid-meal I was struck with the thought, “Suppose I am the ant, and God routinely rescues me from ketchup ?”
Based on my limited knowledge of ant intelligence, there seems to be no way the ant could ever grasp what happened on our dinner table that evening. It has no way to fathom that even by scurrying many hundreds of ant lifetimes, it still cannot experience the scope and grandeur of the earth.
Suppose, in a similar fashion, I cannot possibly grasp the complexity and scope of God and his creation ?
Werner Heisenberg, a famous physicist of uncertainty principle fame and a key mover in the field of quantum mechanics noted: “Not only is the universe stranger than we think, it is stranger than we can think.”
What to do ?
Well it turns out that this puzzle has been addressed by our ancestors many years ago:
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the men of old received divine approval.