No, we were not TV-less up until then. It’s just that our televisions through the years have always been passed down to us. One was given to us at a yard sale. Another one had once belonged to my great grandmother in assisted living.
After enough friends and family teased us about the need to come out of the dark ages, we finally replaced our worn-out television with a 32-inch flat screen with high-definition quality. I’d seen HD TVs in other homes and hadn’t thought much about them. But once we plugged ours in and got it working, I was astounded at how much clearer the picture was.
I flipped through a few HD channels and was astonished by the screen’s revelation of detail. The lights of the big city sparkled with clarity. Watching a nature show, I could see how individual drops of dew glistened in the sun. The sharpness of the images took my breath away.
So I did something I never, ever do. I spent an entire afternoon admiring a screen. I closed the blinds in our living room, shut out the light, and just watched TV.
A couple hours later, I went outside. And I was immediately struck by something so blindingly obvious, it was easily forgotten: Creation is better than HD.
For a moment, I couldn’t take my eyes off the luscious greenery in our backyard.
– The vibrant green of tree leaves against the backdrop of blue sky.
– The flowers my wife had planted at the base of a massive oak tree.
– The way the breeze caught those flowers and tilted their petals at different angles, giving me a panoramic vision of their beauty.
– The squirrel scampering up the trunk of another tree and disappearing behind a thick branch.
The picture was stunning, really. And it was my own backyard.
Here I had been cooped up in a dark room, astonished at the genius of human inventiveness in creating a high quality box. And yet nothing created compares with the creativity of God on full display just outside the window.
I started pointing out all this to my wife, who looked at me like I’d gone a little crazy. Maybe so.
But actually, it felt like my sanity had been temporarily restored. The sheer wonder and amazement of existence had flooded my heart. I was marveling at beauty I had trained myself to ignore.
Every day, I get to see that same backyard. Sunrise, midday, sunset, night. This is more than the repetition of scientific naturalism. It’s a theatrical encore! Chesterton imagined God telling the sun every morning, “Do it again!” like a joyful child who never tires of delightful simplicity.
All around us, creation beckons us to worship God.
– Ocean waves clapping for the Creator.
– Noisy locusts singing His praises.
– A summer breeze that begins in one corner of the backyard and sweeps to the other, ruffling tree leaves along the way, leading the mighty branches to do the wave in celebration of their Designer.
Many people view the world as a work of art but don’t know the Creator. The art is anonymous. Breathtaking, beautiful, but not pointing anywhere.
But we know better. The Creator has signed His name to the portrait, revealing His character and intentions in the created order.
HD is detailed. Creation even more so.
The infinite Creator has an infinite attention span, an infinite love of detail. In His story, every prop must have a complete history. Every extra must have a complete genealogy. And the set must be convincing. Spare no expense. There should be three-dimensional graphics, convincing sound-effects, and something to break up the background blackness of the night sky, something tasteful like a few billion solar systems flaming and spurting, spitting colored worlds and sparking stars, set far enough away to achieve an understated twinkle…
It’s springtime. Go outside and play.