“And so we are all connected in the great Circle of Life.”
-Mufasa, The Lion King
Carnivores are given special eyesight that lacks depth of color, but is incredibly adept an picking up the slightest movement even in near complete darkness. This ability to perceive contrast makes them skilled hunters of other moving creatures (i.e. dinner). It seems pretty straightforward and something that would have been perfected in those species over a multitude of generations.
Now take herbivores, for example. Our eyes are given the full spectrum of color and this gives us an equally special ability — we can perceive the vibrant hues of our most nutritious foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts and berries. Again, this is an obvious physical trait that we and all herbivores would have honed over millennia.
There is a point to this.
Today, while eating a brand new food to me — Dragon Fruit — that was given as a gift, there was an “aha” moment that just made me smile. As I was slicing, peeling, and chewing, I began contemplating some of the nuances of this fruit and started thinking about how it was that humans would come to eat a “dragon fruit” in the first place. The obvious reason is simply the undeniably vivid pink color of the outer skin. That would have been like a neon sign signaling every herbivore with eyesight, from an orangutan to an early human, as something worthy of picking and investigating. Upon further examination, inside of the brightly-colored, tough exterior resides a solid core of mildly sweet, snow-white flesh dotted with hundreds of small black seeds.
That is when the epiphany came — while no animal on the planet wants to be eaten, these colorful plants actually want to be seen and eaten. Why? Because of the one thing that all fruits have in common: seeds. Unlike some plants and trees whose seeds are carried away by the wind, these seeds are meant to be carried away by us (and other herbivores). It really is such a fascinating symbiosis:
- The mature plant produces brightly colored fruit
- The herbivore sees the delicious fruit and eats it
- The fruit provides water, fiber, and nutrients, but the seed is indigestible
- The herbivore strolls around for a while
- The seed passes harmlessly to the ground
- The manure acts as fertilizer for the young plant
- The young plant becomes a mature plant
When thinking about the brilliance of this perfect cycle, I cannot help but think, “this is no accident”. Because, of course, it’s not.
And then I’m reminded of the example of the watchmaker that one of my mentors once offered me.
If someone handed you a watch, any watch — from an old-time pocket watch to the latest smartwatch — and asked you to make observations about what you know about the watch, what would you say? You might start with the shape of the watch, then talk about the materials, notice the details of the face, and, finally, describe the functions which include the telling of time.
Now, imagine you were then asked to describe what you know about the origins of that watch — in other words, how did it come into existence? Even if this particular type of watch was completely unfamiliar to you, you’d likely say that it came from a factory somewhere, made by hand or by machine and that a designer (or team of designers) working for a watch company had come up with the concept.
Even having never seen the factory or met the watch designer, you instinctively know that a watch cannot create itself. You know that such an advanced & complex device must have an even more advanced & complex maker. And you would be right.
This concept shows itself in even simpler examples such as a nest. Imagine walking through the forest and you notice some sticks or grass or mud arranged in a peculiar way in a tree or on the ground. You do not have to be a zoologist to know instantly that some type of animal has created a home for themselves. Why? Because a nest cannot make itself. It takes a more advanced & complex being to bring it into existence.
When we zoom out and look at the universe as a whole or zoom in to the smallest molecules, we are fascinated by both the simplicity and the complexity of literally everything we can fathom. And it is in the knowledge of how profoundly complex even the simplest thing can be that we can connect everything to two eternal truths: nothing can create itself and everything is created by a more advanced & complex being.
In my case, I know that being as God. The God who exists outside of time and space yet knows me just as all creators know their creations. And sometimes something as simple as eating a piece of delicious fruit that He made is enough to bring a renewed sense of awe and wonder about this beautiful world in which we live.