Why Is It So Hard to Just… Behold?
My family and I just got back from a super quick getaway on the coast of Northern California.
The skies were clear and the coastline was dramatic with giant rock outcroppings jutting over and then tumbling down into the ocean.
It was beautiful.
But I have to say…
I can’t tell you how many times I caught myself — in one of the most beautiful places on Earth with the two girls I love the most — caught up in my head. I wasn’t stressed, particularly. But still…
We’d be driving down long, windy roads making our way through these thick forests. And there, I’d catch myself with the following internal chatter…
Hmmm… I wonder what kind of tree that is. Is it Cypress? No, the Cypress trees are back there. What are these? Gaaaah, I know the name. It’s right on the tip of my tongue. Let me think here… I wonder how dry they are. There’s been such a drought out west. Can you imagine if I fire were to…
So there I was… Being swept through an enchanted forest with a wrinkled brow trying to describe — trying to smoosh into words and logic — the captivating scene that was right in front of me.
So the Lord God formed from the fertile land all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky and brought them to the human to see what he would name them. The human gave each living being its name. The human named all the livestock, all the birds in the sky, and all the wild animals.
— Genesis 2:19–20 CEB
There it is… Humans have a natural proclivity to name things. To describe them. To take the world, parse it up, and put it into words and concepts.
I don’t know if this is a blessing or a curse.
We strive so hard to put our created world into logic and concepts. Why is it so hard to just behold it?
I mean, I’m glad we do this, to a certain extent. This proclivity to break things down into words and concepts has given us so many technological advances in our world. Figuring things out is a bonus for humanity, no doubt.
But when it comes to a sunset. Or a dog as it rolls joyfully in the sand on the beach. Or to a grove of trees that enfolds us as we make our way through it towards our destination.
It behooves us to stop the describing
and rather, to just