The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

May 30, 2006

5-28 Apparently So parenting column by Craig Harris

By CRAIG HARRIS, Special to Herald-Press

Palestine — I think I may be getting through to my kids. I have a favorite new phrase that I say to them all the time: "You tell me that wasn’t designed." You see, to me, one of the strongest arguments for God’s existence is the argument by design. The argument states that since the universe and all that is in it was obviously designed by an intelligent being, there must be a designer; and that designer is God.

I mean, come on, if you see a beautiful painting, you don’t say, "Wow, look, millions of years of colorful dust must have settled on this canvas and accidentally formed this beautiful, intricate painting of a house by the sea with the waves crashing into the rocks and glowing lights shining from inside the house. Isn’t absolute chance amazing?!"

No, you would say, "Wow, that Thomas Kinkade is a wonderful artist. Look at how the light in the windows seems to actually glow. Even the waves are transparent. How does he do that?"

To me, the worst insult to God is to look at his handiwork and say, "What an amazing freak of nature. Boy, evolution is some creative genius." To me, that is spitting in God’s face.

So, every chance I get, I point out to my children how obvious it is that the world was designed. We’ll see a dogwood in full bloom and I’ll say, "You tell me that wasn’t designed." We’ll see a caladium rise from the ground and blossom into a colorful leaf and I’ll say, "You tell me that wasn’t designed." We’ll be watching TV and see how the human circulatory system works and I’ll say, "You tell me that wasn’t designed."

Or, on a larger scale, we’ll be looking at the full moon and I’ll tell them that the moon keeps the earth’s wobble stable. It turns out, life on earth could not exist without our moon. It is the perfect size and the perfect distance from us. Designed. The earth’s tilt; the earth’s distance from the sun; the temperature and size of our sun; the chemical make-up of our atmosphere; the gravitational pull that keeps us in place, but in motion. The outer planets, which work like a giant vacuum, keeping asteroids from hitting us. Designed, designed, designed, designed, designed, designed. Even the birds and animals in our yard. The cardinals, squirrels, rabbits, red foxes and deer. You tell me they weren’t designed.

We were smelling the fragrant, new roses we planted in front of the house the other day and I just pointed at them and said, "Designed!" That was all I had to say. The kids rolled their eyes. Then, we walked down for a closer look at the Magnolia trees. The delicate scent of their huge white flowers absolutely filled the air. You know what I said. After that, we were walking in the field and came across a larkspur, towering above the other weeds, grasses and flowers. The mystery is how it got there, standing alone. We were studying the little elegant, blue flower pedals. You guessed it.

Well, it turns out, my son loves Big Macs. I take him once per week to McDonalds to get one. I check him out of school during his lunch break and drive through and pick it up. Sometimes he eats it in the car on the way back to school.

The other day, he took a couple of bites. Then, he held up his burger, looked at me and said, "You tell me that wasn’t designed." I think I’m getting through.

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The Rev. Craig Harris is pastor at Montalba Christian Church and is employed as the Parent Involvement Coordinator for Palestine Independent School District. Contact Harris at http://www.apparentlyso.net