Have you ever thought about how beautifully God designed this world? He gave it such intricacy and depth, color and meaning, space and time. We can only begin to understand just a fraction of God’s creation even today with all our technology and scientific achievements. What is light? How does the human eye really work? We don’t have solid answers for even these basic questions. These aspects of our world are just one testament to God’s love for us. And yet, another unanswerable question is perhaps even more astonishing. How do we know? How do we know our world is so complex? How do we know who we are? How do we know anything?
We are self-aware creatures. Or at least I think so from my perspective of the world. I see lots of other “people” every day who look like me and act like me. I feel the ground beneath me, continuously holding me down to what some call “earth” through a continuous force some call “gravity.” I hold my books as I walk to class, breathing in what appears to be nothing and stabilizing myself in space so I don’t fall. All these factors are predictable and reliable, at least to a great extent, so after learning my way around in this strange world, I forget. I simply accept that I will wake up to the sun shining and my bed in the same spot it was before. I talk to people and find what seems to be a deep invisible connection with them. I see and hear that they appear to be like me, so I assume they are experiencing things similar to what I am experiencing. I quickly lose memory of these initial deductions and move on to describing my world in more specific terms. I build my view of the world based on what I experience, and I move on.
I form relationships. I grow up. I go on a boat ride. I write. I sing. I show off. I love. I hate. I travel. I get a job. And my assumptions of my observations quickly progress before I know what happened. I become all but blind to the threads I once had to explain, and now only talk about the picture of the sunset sewn into the enormous tapestry of what some call “life.”
After all, it seems obvious. Doesn’t it?
We are self-aware creatures. We know lots of things. Some of us know why birds fly south for the winter. Some of us know how to play the guitar. Some of us know what a good photo looks like. And some of us know that we know.
Some people just think. But they don’t think about sports or computers. They think about thinking itself. If they are recognized by the world at large, they are sometimes called “philosophers.” They are fascinated by the idea that we can become fascinated. They are dumbfounded by our reaction to that which we cannot understand. They don’t dissect the brain and run CAT scans to understand these phenomena. They just keep thinking. Usually, one of the most perplexing questions they attempt to answer is that of self-awareness. I am aware. I am aware that I am aware. I am aware that I am aware that I am aware that I… But wait. What does that mean?
We are walking paradoxes. We are aware of our awareness. We understand our understanding. In my mind, this is another incredible testament to the fact that we are God’s creation. But not only that; we are something different. We see ourselves from the outside. We are only human, but our self-awareness makes us different from everything we’ve discovered in this vast universe. God did not make us for this world. He did not make us to plow fields or build cities or drive cars. He made us for Him. He made us unique like Him in our nature, and He gave us minds that seem to be almost outside this world. I argue that He gave us souls.
The next question is this: Now that you know, what are you going to do about it? Will you forget? Will you pretend that this world is all there is? Or will you assess your surroundings and see God standing there right in front of you? Will you reach out and take His hand? Will you pursue the deep, fundamental, root-level truths of life? Think. Think and be aware that our God is an awesome God.
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.” Romans 1:18-21