God’s Artistry Not Always Visual

While sitting on the bow of a small boat sailing between arguably some of the most beautiful islands in the world, I realized an example of God’s best work was probably located sitting in the cabin behind me.

God has a rather amazing sense of instincts. What we think should happen – a logical progression of events or information – is regularly interrupted by his ability to mix together what appear highly contrasting elements resulting in an unexpected outcome.

And as beautiful as the islands are, both above and below the water, nothing compares with the beauty of how God put together the handful of couples my wife and I are sharing very limited living quarters with for a week.

The technologists of the world believe they’ve figured out how to create the formula for compatible relationships through the use of sorting and matching of data multiple points. Through the invitation of one party completing calculated questions on values, behaviors, and interests, the accepted premise is that a sophisticated algorithm can help create the perfect pairing couples.

God, on the other hand, again seems to toss out surface logic and at times in order to create amazing relationships based and built on a handful of sometimes-invisible attractions.

And so goes this group of couples we’ve come to know over the past several years.

In direct opposition to whatever sophisticated calculations could deliver, many of the best couples I’ve witnessed are much more along the lines of Beauty and the Beast than the result of cross indexing data points.

For example, on this small boat alone, everyone has a taken a dramatically and individualized pathway to this point in life. And no two couples share the same dynamics or background. But what they do share is a deep-seated respect and love for each other that trumps any other issue that might’ve thrown up a red flag when data sets are compared on a spreadsheet. There is something else there – and, literally, only God knows why.

No two couples are twins – that is sharing a great number the same limited fields of interests. On the contrary, in this group you’ll find people with diverse interests ranging as wide as the backgrounds they come from. Each person is independent to the bone and very committed to his or her personal universe of interests. But is here that God inserts a special hidden formula into the calculations – thus leaving the more predictable manmade outcomes behind. Some how, somewhere lays a small but powerful attraction to the other based on love, respect, and the understanding that each is a better person because of the other.

This simply, I believe, cannot be recreated no matter how many adjustments are made to an algorithm running across large man made data sets. God, we learn, just simply plays with a different set of tools.

I realize there is not a foolproof formula for relationships. I also understand what God brings together can be undone by our human shortcomings. But in the end, I know is we don’t always need to be looking over the side of a small boat to discover God’s most beautiful creations.

 

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Einstein’s Theory Alive and Well in Carribean

Albert Einstein was right about time being relative – and you only have to travel to the small islands of the Caribbean to see his theory in action.

I’m walking along a white sand beach on a small island home to roughly 250 inhabitants. Not much more than a jagged rock poking its head above the blue and green waters, Einstein would’ve fully appreciated the pace of life that occupies the islands that dot the waterscape.

“Good morning,” I say as I approach a woman standing behind a wooden counter not much bigger than a pickup truck. White Adirondack chairs and tall palms fill out the scenery save a few colorful shells mixing with the gentle surf scrubbing the beaches behind me.

“Are you open yet?” I ask.

“No,” she says, the rhythm of her words perfectly timed to a personal beat I struggle to hear.

“When do you open?” I say.

“When the owners get here.”

“When do you think that’ll be?”

Without missing a beat she replies, “When they get here.”

For someone who straps a mechanical timing device his or her wrist each morning, this could sound as if she is talking down to me. But since this is not my first visit to these islands, I understand her words are accurate – time in the Caribbean is a relative term. To say you go to bed when you are tired, you wake up when you wake up, you eat when you’re hungry are all valid expressions of time measured in a world without the hands of a clock.

I thank her and turn back to the water. Her words, however remind me that there is a world out there where time is not measured in the finite terms of sixty seconds in a minute and sixty minutes in an hour.

Somewhere along the line mankind decided it needed to tame the concept of time – hoping to harness its endless energy and focus the momentum of perpetuity to move us forward. Much like the need to break a horse, man could not leave the concept of time alone. Today most of us live in a world broken down into segments of quarter hours or have little reminders popping up on our cellphones to tell us where to be in an hour. We, in many ways, slaves to “time engineering” – that is, letting time’s tools dictate to us when we wake up, when we sleep, or when we eat.

But back in the blue waters of the Caribbean, Einstein’s theory of relatively is still in force for all to see. For on most of these tiny specs of earth, hours of operation are a cumbersome concept let alone practiced with any regularity. Time on the islands is more likely to be measured in terms of ‘today, tomorrow, and later.”

Looking back across the white sands I see a man walking alone along the beachfront. From his wrist gleans a silver band of metal more commonly known as a wristwatch. Unknowingly, this tells me – and others – volumes about he and his understanding of the world he has entered. If he expects this place, the lightly populated specs of rock scattered throughout blue waters, to adhere to the concept of time dictated from his wristwatch, he is going to be very disappointed.

As for me, I’m happy to temporarily surrender myself to a world where even Einstein would have to smile.

 

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