It is easy to see how God is active in living creatures, but it is perhaps rather harder to envisage what ‘God is doing’ in the case of inanimate objects, like tables or books. When I look at a table and investigate it’s nature, an obvious question arises – is God making the table be, or can the table be without involvement from God?
The table existing without involvement from God would have to mean that there was some part of the cosmos in which God was not present. But this cannot be, as God by His very nature (intuition tells us) is omnipresent. Therefore there must be a sense in which the table is ‘in God’, or put another way, God’s being must permeate the table. It is natural, then, to assume that God is holding the table in existence. The table appears solid and stable, and it is perfectly possible for God to create these qualities in the table – God is omnipotent and therefore holding a bunch of atoms in place for a few hundred years does not pose the slightest problem.
Another aspect of God is that He is wholly in the parts as well as the whole. That means that each part of the table contains the fullness of God. It should not be hard to imagine then, that God in His infinite power, can create subtle change in objects such as tables over time. We are talking, for instance, of de-colouring, acquiring woodworm, or drying out. If the smallest particle is just as present to God as the whole table, then God can affect change on any level.
One might naturally ask, what would become of the table if God’s involvement were taken away? Could it exist without God? We have already established that God is everywhere, so we would have to conclude that there can be no table without God.
Taking all of this into account, shouldn’t it be possible for God to make major unexpected changes in the order of things? For instance, if God wanted my table to vanish before my eyes, is this not possible? Remember, we are saying that God is holding every particle of the table in existence. I would have to conclude that yes, it is as possible for a table to vanish as it is for a tumour to vanish, as we hear about in the case of spontaneous remissions from cancer. God could bring a table into non-existence in a flash, if He desired. So why then, do we not see more instances of this?
Well, it is perfectly possible that God likes order. Perhaps regularity is one of the things that gives God pleasure. This is understandable if we remember that God has all of eternity at His disposal. God might like to make some things appear and disappear (like a flash of lightning), and other things remain for hundreds of years (like a table). Evolution (in objects as well as animals) may well please God, as the unfolding of His will and His plans provides our creator with anticipation and something to look forward to.
The above article is a modified extract from my book entitled ‘Ultimate Truth: God Beyond Religion’. To find out more or to buy the book, go here.