For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. (Romans 1:20)
I drove to Minneapolis today for business. After the last exasperating detour finally guided me back on Highway 7, I looked up to see something incredible that I’d been missing in the midst of my asphalt frustration. The colors. It’s autumn, and spectacularly so. The trees in South Dakota turn in the fall too, but there are a limited number of them scattered throughout the state, and so they are much further apart and the effect is just not the same. There’s something particularly unmatched about the colors of fall in Minnesota.
Because I have a geeky mind instead of a normal one like yours, as I breathed in the beauty of the colors a phrase passed through my mind. Res ipsa locquitur. I don’t speak Latin. But sometimes I pretend to at work. I recently had to do some training and was reminded of the meaning of this phrase. It mostly has application in the legal field, and it means “the thing speaks for itself.” In my claims world, it usually comes up in a situation where there is simply no other explanation for an accident occurring than a certain party’s negligence. For instance, if a man is walking down the sidewalk and a television falls on his head, and another man had been carrying a television on the fire escape above him, there is really no other explanation than that the man carrying the television somehow dropped it. Res ipsa locquitur. The thing speaks for itself.
The colors of fall in Minnesota. Res ipsa locquitur. The thing speaks for itself. There’s no other explanation: God did it.
Paul writes to the Romans that ultimately, people have no excuse for not recognizing that God is. All that has been made points back to Him. No other explanation. The thing speaks for itself.
He echoes here in Romans what the Psalmist wrote in Psalm 19, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge.There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard.”
That God created speaks for itself. Res ispa locquitur. It all points to Him as the only explanation.
Just like those colors, perfectly blended amongst the multitude of trees all over the roadside, God’s working in my life often also bears the marks of res ipsa locquitur. There are things that happen, things that I encounter, that simply have no explanation besides God’s engagement in my life. His working in my heart. His tapping at the side of my head.
God’s work often defies explanation at the same time it requires no explanation.
The thing speaks for itself. And I am without excuse.