The Union Recorder

Columns

December 18, 2013

HODGES: We need more mystery in our lives

MILLEDGEVILLE — You may hear the words, “Christmas is a season of great mystery,” but you may not completely understand what that means. The word “mystery” is the problem, mostly because we are not sure what to do with mystery.

If we like mystery novels, we want to find out toward the end who did the terrible crime. A good author will be able to keep us in suspense until the very end, and we will be surprised to find out who the villain is, but we know that we will learn who it is.

Diseases like polio and smallpox used to be mysteries, but we learned what caused them and how to treat them, and now they are all but eradicated from our lives. There is no mystery there.

Mystery is all around us even though we might not know it. Some things can be simply explained, but that still does not take the mystery away. Linda and I stood on a pier at St. Simons recently and watched the sun go down. We stood in awe as we watched the sky light up with amazing color, and as we stood looking at it, we did not speak. We were caught up in the mystery of that moment.

Any scientist could have explained about the refraction of light in the water vapor in the sky as that caused the brilliant colors, but that would not have taken away the mystery.

We have stood on the edge of the Grand Canyon and looked across that vast hole in the earth. What we were seeing was unspeakable beauty, and we, along with others, were silent before the great mystery before us.

Again, the Grand Canyon can be explained by the power of erosion on the particular rock that is there, but the explanation still cannot take away the mystery of that amazing place.

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