Have you ever wondered why the earth wasn’t square and plain like a big box? What if it was more like a giant racquetball court or a gymnasium? Just six boring walls. Imagine a flat and two-dimensional world with little color or variety. No flowers. No trees. No hills or mountains. Could it have been this way? Sure. God could have created anything he wanted. But that isn’t what he did.
Sunset at Denver International Airport
Instead, he created geography that blows my mind. I’ve flown over the Rocky Mountains at sunset and driven to the top of Mount Baker in the state of Washington. I’ve been to Pikes Peak and the Garden of the Gods in Colorado. I’ve traveled the shores of Lake Superior and hiked the trails along swift rivers and peaceful streams. Not one acre of land is exactly like another and the contrast in the contour of mountains and valleys is almost more than I can fathom sometimes.
It isn’t just the magnificent formations that grip my thoughts. I’m amazed at the fine detail that God didn’t overlook even in my own back yard. As I meander my garden I see intricate flowers and a glorious display of color. As hummingbirds buzz around me and the blossoms bend and sway in a strong breeze, I can’t help but wonder, “God, how and why did you create this world with such attention to detail?”
Those are the moments when my heart sings with the words of David in Psalm 8. “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers…what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?” It makes sense that David would say, “O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth,” when he stopped to consider what God created. When I stop to think about why God didn’t create a giant racquetball court of a world, I can see several reasons, as if my little mind could even begin to understand the mind of God.
I think one reason he created the world with immeasurable beauty and awe is that it reflects his own beauty and awe. I’ve traveled so little in my lifetime, yet I’ve seen enough to make me realize that it must surely be a tiny sample of the glory of God.
In addition to reflecting his own glory in his creation, I think God created the earth the way it is simply because he enjoyed creating it. As an artist, I thoroughly enjoy the process of creating and designing a work of art. I can almost imagine God forming the world like a potter forms clay and splashing it with color in flowers and trees. His artistry shows in thunder and lightning, snow and rain, sun and blue skies. I imagine his satisfaction when he stepped back and he “saw all that he had made and it was very good” (Genesis 1:31). As a gardener, I understand his delight when he “planted a garden in the east, in Eden…and the Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food” (Genesis 2:8-9).
He made it pleasing to our eyes too, not just his own. Surely, he created it for our enjoyment. For the sense of peace and joy we receive when we spend time hiking in the beauty of rocky hills, canoeing the wilderness, flying into a sunset in an airplane, and resting by the side of a peaceful lake.
As if all of these weren’t reason enough, I think God created this world in such a way that not one human being could say, “I did this.” If the world were flat and square, we’d have less reason to believe in a creator. We wouldn’t be blown away enough. We’d believe that a random accident created the box. Although many still refuse to believe in God the Creator, I find it impossible to believe that a random accident made life sustaining water, photosynthesis for oxygen, and vast amounts of plants, animals and fruits for food. How could our round earth spin on a perfect axis, orbit the sun, and change seasons in order without a perfect creator?
As I consider the wonder of creation, I can’t help but think that if God created something so splendid in seven days, what will heaven be like?