We were engaged in a refreshingly serious conversation about the origin of things, deep stuff you won’t get to discuss with every teenager. (Him, not me. I’m, uh . . . older.) Shy, brilliant (again, him), he was searching for BIG answers to BIG questions. “I see two basic options,” he said thoughtfully. “Either it all started by random chance, or it was magic.”
“I wouldn’t use the word magic,” I hastily said.
He seemed perplexed. “Well, what would you call it? There’s nothing, and then”—he waved his hands skyward—“there’s everything!”
I worried about the connotations inherent in that dangerous word magic. Didn’t that evoke images of wizards and spells, of sleight of hand and illusion? Magic isn’t synonymous with miraculous. But my friend came from a background where God and worship were not values. He saw the cosmos with fresh eyes and used the word magic innocently, even worshipfully.
“The heavens proclaim the glory of God,” wrote the poet David. “The skies display His craftsmanship” (Psalm 19:1). Those who look at nature through eyes of faith will be filled with a sense of awe that compels the worship of the One who created it all from nothing. The onslaught of evidence is overwhelming, as David noted: “Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make Him known” (v.2).
And we can turn inward as well. Each of our cells contains information in the form of DNA. Nature can produce patterns, but coded information can come only from a higher intelligence.
The message from science, from my searching friend, and from the Bible is clear. Look up! Look around! Then worship the One who made you and who fills you with wonder. Creation declares the majesty—the magic!—of our Creator, “without a . . . word” (v.3).
• Genesis 1:1
• John 1:1-5
• 1 John 1:1-4
Why is it wise to define the terms in any serious discussion? What can you learn from those who are searching?