Monday, May 18, 2015

Personal Life Update: Flying Colors

Last night as I drove home from work, "Fireflies" by Owl City became my life, for the space of about 5 minutes. 

I remember reading somewhere that Adam had a certain summer night in mind when he wrote it -- whether he was on vacation or if this was in Minnesota, I'm uncertain of, but using the context of his early music's many references to various states that he'd like to visit but never had ("Hello Seattle," "Alaska," "West Coast Friendship" etc), I suspect it was in his home state that he witnessed a swarm of fireflies one night, in the tens of thousands, somewhere in the country.

I run across fireflies on any given summer evening out by the road next to the field opposite my house. But I'd never before seen so many in one place that they resembled elaborate winter holiday decorations. Their rhythmic lighting resulted in what appeared to be waves of strobe lights undulating out from the trees on one side of the road, into the field opposite and back and forth in ways that made it look like the lights were on wires and carrying electric current.

It was really quite spectacular. If you focused on a single light source at once, you could tell that it was a bug, either stationary or slowly flying over the farm field looking for a mate. But when you scanned across the whole landscape, the simplicity of the mating call scaled upward into a much more complex, grander view that provokes you to marvel at how the simple things of earth that God has created can come together in spectacular arrangements so that the big picture of everything is so amazing that the only thing you can do is stand amazed, and give God glory.

It's reminiscent of this:
"By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible." Hebrews 11:3

And in a similar way, the small things make up big things. I've always been fascinated by how the macroscopic, microscopic and telescopic views of the world hang together. Ultimately, the bigger stuff has to be explained, in some way, by the smaller stuff. Economics and politics has to be explained by individual human interactions. Culture shifts have to be explained by psychology. Physiology has to be explained by cell theory. Computers have to be explained by electricity and mechanics. And on it goes. Being able to bridge the divisions between fields of study, in one's mind, does wonders for how one is able to understand the world, and marvel at the interconnected nature of reality. Perhaps that's why I'm in the field I'm in. Biology is the connection between chemistry and physiology. History is the connection between how things happened in the past, and why they are the way they are now. Philosophy is the connection between absolute revealed truth and sincere human questioning.

Rightly understood and pursued, of course.

I hope I'll have the opportunity to see a lightshow like that again, maybe with my bride.

Flying colors today doesn't only refer to the lightning bugs I stopped to stare at, but also to the fact that I checked my spring semester grades today and made straight As. And the journey continues!

~ Rak Chazak

1 comment:

  1. Well done, Rak! May you continue to honor God in your studies, and be open to Him guiding you with His wisdom. I bet those light were a sight to behold. His creation is amazing!