In today’s First Reading (Genesis 9:8-15) God sets the rainbow in the sky and says, “I set my bow in the clouds to serve as a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow appears in the clouds, I will recall the covenant I have made between me and you and all living beings, so that the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all mortal beings.” Are we not awe-struck by some of the rainbows we see?
One day a group of students at a university was discussing what it’s like to be a young person today. They talked of many things – their work, their fears, their ambitions. And then the moderator asked them: “What does it take to get your attention?”
One young man was very direct: “Bright and loud,” he said. “It’s the kind of world we live in, and in that kind of world, that’s what it takes, it has to be bright and loud.”
Bright and loud. Think about that response. It rules out a lot of things, doesn’t it? He doesn’t notice the different songs of the birds, or the color of wet bark, or the tiny stars that may in actuality be many times the size of our sun.
He probably never sees the delicacy of a cat’s fur or the eagerness in a child’s eyes or the lines in an old woman’s face. In fact, he’s missing most of the treasures that have always caught the attention of artists and photographers and poets and mystics and musicians.
How many people are like this young man and miss the most intricate wonders of our environment because they only stare at a tiny screen all day? Is our secular culture breeding people who have no eye for the lilies of the field, who no longer make the connection between all of these delights and the God who fashioned the world? Has our runaway materialism, with its glut of things inured us to the fragile network of miracles around us, what one Oriental religion calls the “web of jewels?”
It would be a pity, wouldn’t it, to live in a world of rainbows and geese and wildflowers and never see them, never have our hearts lifted, never make the connection between them and a transcendent Presence presiding over our very existence.
Thanks to John Killinger for these deep and penetrating thoughts.
What does it take to get YOUR attention in the world we live in today?
“I MADE ALL OF THIS OUT OF NOTHING. TRUST ME, I CAN TAKE CARE OF YOU!!” GOD