A fear of mine and somewhat of a fascination is the open waters and outer space.
It sends chills when I watch people going in a submarine miles below the surface or to outer space.
There is something terrifying about the deafening silence and expanse.
Why is this? I think it’s the fear of the unknown, the inability to see a beginning and an end. It requires a submission. It exposes our finiteness, our lack of ultimate control. It strips any notions of the world revolving around us and forces our submission.
We don’t like submission, so we don’t allow ourselves to be put in a position where this is thrust upon us, yet we inevitably can’t run from it.
Is this an intersection of the free will of man and the sovereignty of God?
I can be afraid and choose not to go to outer space so I can stay comfortably in control, but even though I may believe and feel I’m in control by not choosing to go to outer space, outer space still remains and I’m still just as finite and not in control in my safe space as I would be in the expanse of the galaxy. We make choices, yes, but our choices don’t change truth and reality.
We can choose to take our own path, but really there is no other path. We are ultimately at the mercy of this absolute so our choices will ultimately come under this authority and we will find we had no choice.
Our freedom then is in submission to the Truth not apart from it. When we have submitted to our creator and trust Jesus as the author and finisher of our faith we can live in abundant life the way we were designed. No more fighting for something we weren’t designed for in the first place.
A fish was designed to swim in water and not to live in the desert. No amount of choosing to try to make a fish live on dry land will change the fact that it was never meant for that. Only death will come from living out of God’s will.
Below is a poem written by Johann Wolfgang Goethe around 1795. It paints a masterful picture of the contradiction of the alarming deep dark silence and how this makes way for the joy of the sighted land.
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 1 Peter 5:6
“Submit to God and be at peace with him; in this way prosperity will come to you. Job 22:21
Deep quiet rules the waters;
motionless, the sea reposes,
and the boatsman looks about with alarm
at the smooth surfaces about him.
No wind comes from any direction!
A deathly, terrible quiet!
In the vast expanse
not one wave stirs.
The mist is torn away,
The heavens turn bright,
And Aeolus unfastens
The bonds of fear.
There, the winds rustle,
the boatsman stirs.
The waves rise up again.
The distant view draws close,
Land ho, I call!
—Johann Wolfgang Goethe