So the other day, I ran across an interesting post online. 17 Captivating Fractals Found in Nature. You may look at this and just think it looks cool but have no idea what a fractal is. When I saw this post, it made me think of a book a read a few years back. The Shack by Wm. Paul Young. This article stood out to me for many reasons. One, the pictures were just beautiful. The second, it reminded of this book. It was the first time I had seen or heard that word since reading that book. It is stood out to me so much that I was able to find notes I took about fractals.
What is a fractal?
They are defined as a geometric pattern that is repeated at ever smaller scales to produce irregular shapes and surfaces that cannot be represented by classical geometry. Fractals are used especially in computer modeling of irregular patterns and structures in nature.
In The Shack they are described as something considered simple and orderly that is actually composed of repeated patterns no matter how magnified. Almost infinitely complex. Young did his homework, because that description seems to be a pretty good definition, similar to what good ole Webster had to say about them.
So in the book, The Shack, there is a man who gets the chance to meet with God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. This man had been through a great loss in his life and had given up all hope. Even to the point where he yells at Jesus, "I am NOT a Christian!"
So much anger and hate, all built up inside that it comes pouring out and directed at the only person we can think of to blame. Christ.
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I am going to go out on a limb, and say that this feeling is a lot more common than we think. But it is one of those things we don't talk about. We are supposed to be strong! We are supposed to be independent! We can do anything if we just put our mind to it!
Those are the standards we as a society place on ourselves. Never mind what we talk about on Sunday about living for Christ. Because that requires us to be dependent when we are taught to be independent. Never mind, I can do anything through Christ who strengthens me. Cause I got all I need inside me. I just have to focus. I can do it on my own.
But when things don't work out. Who do we blame? I may be alone in this, but I have been called independent to a fault. It is not a good thing. And when I felt that my back was against the wall. Whenever had gone wrong. When there was no light at the end of the tunnel. I had my "Send me a signal, send me a sign" moment. I felt truly and utterly broken. I was a mess.
Similar to this clip from Bruce Almighty. Only my hair was more curly, and fro-y. And I was not as well dressed.
But if I had to guess, I would assume that I am not alone in this feeling. At one point or another, you may have felt the same way. Maybe it is now. Maybe it hasn't happened yet. Hopefully it never happens. But I am so sure in my thoughts that I am not alone in this, that I am willing to share it here.
Ok, that makes sense, but why on earth were you talking about fractals? Just look at some of these examples of fractals. How can something so beautiful, so perfect, be just an accident? Is that possible?
We have these fractals. That look like utter chaos. Random. Unorganized. Just a total mess...
It was at this point that Sarayu, the character of the Holy Spirit speaks up...
"This mess is you! Together you and I, we have been working with purpose in your heart. And it is wild and beautiful and perfectly in process. To you it seems like a mess, but I see a perfect pattern emerging and growing and alive - a living fractal."
-The Shack, Wm. Paul Young