PARADOXICAL

The faith chronicles

Friday, February 15, 2013

 

Lenten retreat reflection: Day 4 - I found God in a coral reef.

pp. 18-20


I simply love this part of the retreat because it reminds me that I am not just a nervous wretch, after all (afraid of God, if not angry at Him). I may have originally turned to God out of fear for his wrath, but I also got convinced along the way of His beauty and goodness.

I know I risk sounding like a broken record each time, but I will never tire recounting this, for what convinced me that God exists, thanks to the challenge of my first atheist, a college roommate who was a Geology major, was a beautiful coral reef somewhere in Balaoan, Luna town, in La Union province. It was one of those field trips we students needed to join for our college marine biology class. Of course, it’s not a coincidence that I was also taking up botany and zoology subjects at the time, which opened my eyes to the fact that science still had a lot of basic things about 'life' that it couldn't answer.

It was my first time to visit a coral reef, and what I saw while snorkeling overwhelmed me. I already knew how beautiful nature can get (if it is not being scary at times, that is), so I needed no further convincing. But nothing prepared me for what I saw: purple fingerlings, soft pink corals fanning out, seagrass dancing with the current, rainbow-colored creatures I couldn’t identify, all moving gingerly trying to make a living one way or another. How they maintained balance, how everything ensured that everything was perpetuated despite the seeming eat-or-get-eaten law of the jungle operating in the reef, escaped me. To think I was studying all of it in class, for I was taking up an ecology subject as well at the time.  Which only meant that I went to the reef already marveling at how everything, from the minutest aspect of nature up to the most gargantuan, had its own rightful place, the omission of which would upset the delicate homeostasis or balance of nature.

Then one question stunned me. Why such beauty? The sunrise and sunset, the whispers of the wind, the movements of the sea, and nature’s manifold creatures:  why are they all so beautiful?

Did all the fishes, which incidentally had a pair of eyes like me, saw beauty in it, too? I doubt it. What’s apparent to me is that, since I was the one appreciating it all, that beauty must have been meant for me, for every human being like me.

Call it a self-centered vision typical of a human being, but I went home spiritually re-invigorated. You see, I grew up fearing the sea after a family outing incident at around age 7. But despite my fear of the water, I couldn’t contain myself on the way back to Baguio. I’m sure I slept praying to God at home that night, thanking Him for making me feel Him, for being such a good Deity, and not only good, but extremely intelligent too (as an engineer and audiovisual designer), and what’s more, utterly beautiful as well. Through Balaoan’s coral reef, God convinced me of His divinity, not just in my intellect, but deep down: in my instinct. 

Today, I'm not a diver or even a swimmer, but I can always claim I found God in a coral reef.



Comments:
Beautiful. Thanks, Resty!

mine.
 
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