The ancients who wrote what we call Scripture perhaps didn’t fully realize the profound truths they were inspired to pass on to us — nor do we! God’s “resting” was not to say that he was “finished,” that his work was done. A human artist may recognize when his opus is finally completed. He breathes a sigh of relief, walks away from his easel to clean his brushes, and frames his painting. Hopefully, he’ll be able to sell it.
God’s work in his universe, and in each of us, is never finished. Scientists are never finished with their exploration of the universe, and the more they learn the more they discover what is yet to be learned. Scientists are continually searching to understand the present by examining the past. Revolutionary concepts, such as those offered by Copernicus and Galileo, are constantly being overturned and humbly accepted.
In caring for our spiritual life, a most useful exercise is to pause now and then to review this life of ours to see how it has changed (hopefully for the better) since its beginning.
Already I’m at a loss with this question: what is or was my beginning? The writer of Psalm 139 is astonished at his own being, recognizing that God knew how his little self would turn out long before anyone else knew of his existence — or even cared.
You formed my inmost being;
you knit me in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, because I am wonderfully made;
wonderful are your works!
My very self you know.
My bones are not hidden from you,
When I was being made in secret,
fashioned in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw me unformed.
My beginning was in my mother’s womb, as her beginning was in her mother’s womb, as her beginning was in her mother’s womb, as her beginning was in her mother’s womb, as her beginning . . . etc., etc., etc.
This discovery suggests that my being, my essence, began much earlier than I thought.
Where would I be if it were not for the chain of that first creative copulation thousands of years ago? That chain has brought me to this very moment where I’ve been enabled to be aware of it. The traits I have — physical, intellectual, emotional (and moral?) — didn’t come merely from the two humans through whom I’ve been generated into this short hour of life.
Because life has come from a living chain of other lives, it’s important to look into our own being, looking back at least as far as the few years of our short life, to examine where we’ve been and how we got to what we are now. And if this is beneficial at the materially human level, how much more enlightening would it be to trace the evolution of our spirituality. When we dare to examine our origin and history, our relationship to God and the people in our life, so much of our past is clarified, understood, appreciated, and even forgiven — as long as we approach this special study with the desire and courage to clarify, understand, appreciate and forgive all that has preceded this moment.
God may have rested, but he did not stop altogether. Out of a superabundance of LOVE, God continues to create. Nor can we stop or let go of that creative hand that is leading us carefully toward the end he wishes for us. Our destiny is to co-operate with God, work with him on this project of creating ourselves. Having been made in his image, we have been given all we need. All we need to do now is to accept His invitation to the Feast prepared for us from the beginning.