About Me

My photo
I'm a life-long New Englander, father of 4 challenging kids (I know: I'm supposed to say "wonderful", but while that'd be true, technically speaking, it'd also be misleading), and fortunate husband to my favorite wife of more than 20 years. I've got over 20 years experience breaking things as a test engineer, quality engineer, reliability engineer, and most recently (and most enjoyably) a Product Safety / EMC Compliance Engineer. In the photo, I'm on the left.

Friday, December 23, 2011

A Greater Hand than Mine

I was reading a post that Matt Conlon pointed me at on his blog regarding thoughts of religion. You can see that post here, on his blog from February of this year.

As often seems to happen, Matt's ramblings sparked a thought or two in my feeble mind, and I recollected a quote that I've got stored away (one of my many hobbies is collecting quotes; I kind of think that it might be fun to pull one out every now and then and talk about why this particular quote inspired me to collect it...perhaps I can strive to make it a regular posting). That quote is as follows:

When a man does a piece of work which is admired by all we say that it is wonderful; but when we see the changes of day and night, the sun, the moon, and the stars in the sky, and the changing seasons upon the earth, with their ripening fruits, anyone must realize that it is the work of someone more powerful than man.
~Chased-by-Bears (1843 - 1915) Santee-Yanktonai Sioux

Matt and Chased-by-Bears both speak my mind. I was raised Catholic, but not pious by any means. Being an engineer, I find that I have a deep-seated need to understand things, and there are a lot of things that I don't understand about any religion, even my own. But I have to agree with Chased-by-Bears (I'm sure he finds comfort in my agreement with him) that there's a greater hand that was put to work in the machinations of our world.

One thought that I've had, which I read in Matt's post, is why would I have to haul my wrinkled, hairy ass down to a particular building and stand & kneel in unison with a couple of hundred other folks to demonstrate my relationship with God?

Personally, I find God in the forests. After all, God didn't make that church where I attend mass. The church that God made is the natural world. That's where the peace, tranquility, harmony, and REAL power is. You can feel it, if you want to. Either that, or I'm a lot more on towards senility than I was hoping.

Such are the thoughts that Matt sparked in my mind.


  1. I am a non believer, who also finds peace, tranquility and harmony in the natural world. I don't know how it came to be, but I marvel at it daily, and cherish the changes in light, in length of day, in what is growing....

  2. I am a non church attending believer. I do however, feel guilty about the non attending part and here's why. I have in my head a quote I read somewhere that said, "You expect God to listen to you, you accept His gifts, you invite Him to your table to bless your food, the least you can do is drop over to His house once a week for an hour." Major guilt trip, yet still, I fail to attend.

  3. Wow, my thoughts exactly. You stated it better than I ever could. Of course I spend a fair time in church because my mom gets her inspiration there (fairly traditional in her outlook) and she can't get there now unless I take her.

    Delores' comment is one I have heard as well. But I have come to peace with exactly where "God's house" is. It is inside each and everyone one of us, we carry it with us daily and if we take time to see the nature created by God and see his hand in that, than we do him homage. Religions also believe that it is what you carry in your heart that is most important. But what is in your heart sometimes needs "refreshing" I guess for some and that is where the church structure sometimes helps.

    Oh my, I have gone on and on. Great post.

  4. Thank you all. We were watching a Muppet Christmas Carol last night (I like to see how I did in the "Marley and Marley number), and the song that the Ghost of Christmas Present sings speaks to me along these lines. I find it bouncing around in my mind often through the year.

  5. Thanks for the linkage! Since posting that post, I've found that I have become increasingly aware of those who believe differently than I do, and how vocal they are. It's almost a conscious effort now to not roll my eyes at some things, just to avoid being a lightning rod for those eager to convert or re-indoctrinate me.

    One of the best movies, if you can overlook (or even appreciate!) the gutter-talk is Dogma... Basically states that in the Catholic church, the church can make up rules as they go along, and presume that God will honor said rules... Basically speaking on behalf of god, and making promises he's gotta keep... I find that rather arrogant, myself.

    One of the funnies comedy bits I've seen is Jim Jefferies beliefs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-RJeqyh-vI

    Take it for what it's worth, he's a foul mouthed atheist, so be forewarned.

  6. This was a great post, and I agree with every word of it. I can't stand being in church; I always feel most spiritual in the mountains. It's such a beautiful, intimate experience... I mean, no offense, but when I talk to God, I don't want to talk to him with 200 other people, half of whom aren't even paying attention.

    Also, as something I could never say to my Catholic parents (was also born and raised Catholic), I went on a trip to Thailand about 2 years ago and visited an ancient Buddhist temple, full of nothing but silent monks. And in that building, from entrance to exit, I felt the presence of something greater than myself, so much stronger than I've ever felt in any church. It was a magical experience.

  7. Wow, that gave me goosebumps. I never thought of it that way. What a thought provoking post. Wishing you all the very best for the New Year!