Some Call It God

angel in blue dress painting

The poet William Herbert Carruth, after extolling the beauty and mystery of nature, notes how humans respond in different, yet similar ways. Each stanza of his poem “Each in His Own Tongue” ends with a couplet containing the same last line. The first set ends with this contrast, “Some call it Evolution, And others call it God.” Other stanzas juxtapose God with Autumn, longing, and consecration.

I think most readers would agree. We are all looking for something more grand, something bigger, some story that makes sense of our senses. In her recent article “The Religious Instinct in a Godless World,” Megan Gafford gives a helpful summary of our quest for meaning through an analysis of collected quotations and excerpts from contemporary thinkers. She concludes the article with this insightful paragraph:

“Different types of people will be attracted to the theist and atheist options for combatting hubris and the lure of psychological possession. Likewise, there will always be some people who succumb to either the theist or atheist way of being eaten alive. Humility does seem to be the antidote to this, but unfortunately there is no universally guaranteed method for cultivating it.”

While we might not have a guaranteed method for cultivating this seemingly insatiable spiritual longing, it appears inevitable we are all destined to thirst, to hunger, to yearn for more. What can fill this void? The philosopher Pascal summarized it this way:

“What else does this craving, and this helplessness, proclaim but that there was once in man a true happiness, of which all that now remains is the empty print and trace?

This he tries in vain to fill with everything around him, seeking in things that are not there the help he cannot find in those that are, though none can help, since this infinite abyss can be filled only with an infinite and immutable object; in other words by God himself”

C.S. Lewis said something similar, “Human history is the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy.” He’s right. All of us are looking for happiness. None of us are immune from the pangs of emptiness. Where is it pointing us? Where might it find fulfillment? Some call it the universe. Some call it nature. Some call it evolution. Some call it God. What say you?