I have a weather station in my garden that is connected to a controller in my study, which in turn connects to my computer and uploads weather data to a global weather database called Weather Underground (you can see real time weather information from my garden on their website). My interest in weather goes back to my childhood, but I guess that living in Britain means I have absorbed the national obsession with the weather. I think part of the reason we are so interested in weather is that we have such distinct seasons, and the turning of Summer to Autumn is happening (with Winter fast approaching). Our seasons happen because of the tilt of the earth and our orbit around the sun. Some parts of the earth do not have seasons like ours, being hot or cold all year round. When I think about the delicate balance that brings this about, the fact that we have what are sometimes called the “Goldilocks factors” (not too hot or cold, not too hard or soft) that mean life can exist on this amazing planet we call home it boggles my mind. Of course, all is not perfect: adverse weather affects many lives – drought meaning no food, floods causing untold damage to crops and homes, hurricanes destroying all in their wake, dry heat causing fires that rage uncontrolled. And those things astound me too – the power of nature and the delicate changes that cause such powerful phenomenon. Giles Fraser recently talked about awe and wonder on Radio 4’s thought for the day. Two quotes he used were these: “To be human is to be awe inspirable” (Clemency Burton-Hill); and “Wonder is just a few clicks away from a reverential attitude towards existence.” (G K Chesterton)
A contemporary worship song has these words. “I’m lost in wonder. I’m lost in love. I’m lost in praise for evermore.” Awe and wonder can lead us to ponder the very reason for life itself, and to praise the creator God who brought about the conditions for the Big Bang and life to emerge. The song goes on to say that “because of Jesus’ unfailing love, I am forgiven. I am restored.”
That simply blows my mind.