I recently acquired a copy of a beloved devotional and found tucked within its aged pages a neatly folded newspaper article. By means of the advertisements, I would think it dates to the late 1950’s. I love the connection that the Lord gives us to our fellow brethren whether they share our place in time or have run their course before us. It’s a gem of an article and I can imagine the original owner’s delight in finding it and the great satisfaction it gave her to preserve this piece of inspiration within her little devotional book. I’m thankful she did that, as now I can share it with you.
(By the way, that devotional I mention is, Streams in the Desert, by Mrs. Cowman, 1935)
“A Very Lovely Accident”
By Jim Bishop
All of the wonders around you are accidental. No almighty hand made a thousand billion stars. They made themselves. No power keeps them on their steady courses. The earth magnetized itself to keep the oceans from falling off toward the sun. Infants teach themselves to cry when they are hungry or hurt. A small flower invented itself so that we could extract digitalis for sick hearts.
The top few inches of our land just happens to have topsoil, without which we would have no vegetables to eat, no grass for the animals whose meat is our food. No one put oil just deep enough in the earth to keep until we need it. The wind which carries the delicate seedling to a fertile place was devised by us. The inexhaustible envelope of air – only 50 miles deep – and of exactly the right density to support human life, is just another law of physics.
Why does the earth spin at a given speed without ever slowing up, so that we can have day and night? Who tilts it so that we get seasons? Without the magnetic North Pole man would be unable to navigate the trackless oceans of water and air, but it just grew there, even though no one knows what it is.
How about the sugar thermostat below the human pancreas? It maintains a level of sugar in the human blood sufficient for energy, but, without it, all of us would fall into a coma and die. No one created it. The sun stokes a fire just warm enough to sustain us on earth, but not hot enough to fry us, or cold enough to kill us. Who keeps the fire constant? The special healing rays emitted by the sun – who knows?
What makes a light bulb light? Electricity? What is it? Who showed it how to travel at lighting speed, making right angle turns and twists on a piece of wire without flying off? By the way, what is light? Who invented eyes to see light? There is no light in 4,000 fathoms of water and the fish living there have no eyes. Who un-invented needless eyes?
Where did the seeds come from for the first tree so that we would have shelter? Did someone devise fire to keep us warm? For countless centuries in countless places the forests and the vegetation perpetuated themselves without man’s help. Why did they not die of blight and flame and neglect?
Clouds bring rain and shade. Who taught them how to vaporize and pick up the fresh water and carry it to places which need it? Is snow just a winter decoration? Or does it sit on mountain tops waiting for the warm springs to melt it into rains needed for the streams and farms below? A very lovely accident. And why does it melt at just the right time for the young crops to drink?
The human heart will beat for 70 or 80 years without faltering. How does it get sufficient rest between beats? A kidney will filter poison from the blood, and leave good things alone. How does it know one from the other? Who gave the human tongue flexibility to form words, and a brain to understand them, but denied it to all other animals?
Illnesses have specific symptoms. Why this warning? Why not many illnesses with identical symptoms? Or no symptoms? Who showed a womb how to take the love of two persons, and keep splitting a tiny ovum until, in time, a baby would have the proper number of fingers, eyes, ears and hair in the right places and come into the world when it is strong enough to sustain life? Who?
It’s all accidental. There is no God…