Humbling Fall Vistas in Tennessee & North Carolina

(written about 1:30PM EST, Thursday, 11/15/2007)

Wow!  Driving through the Smokey Mountains was a real highlight of the drive to Charlotte during our first drive there, but this time I am just blown away.  The fall colors have been AMAZING!  The land of Tennessee has really been blessed, and the terrain leading up to the mountain passes was gorgeous, and the mountains themselves were fantastic.

My wife and I switched places in Asheville, North Carolina, where we stopped for some lunch, and now we are here, about 30-45 minutes east when, WOW!  The view outside of my passenger window was unbelievable.  The mountains stretching out to my right, thickly carpeted with vibrant oranges and yellows and fiery reds, along with the occasional evergreen tree — phenomenal.  And the variation of light, bright in some places and shaded by clouds in others…  Sometimes you just feel unworthy of such sights.

I think one of the challenges of being an atheist would have to be having no one to thank at such humbling moments.

4 thoughts on “Humbling Fall Vistas in Tennessee & North Carolina

  1. Indeed. It’s hard enough to explain what survival value all those changes of color have by Darwinian means. (Why not just turn brown and be done with it, which is what often happens anyway?) How and why hominids who supposedly originated on the subtropical savannah in Africa evolved a sense of pleasure and awe in seeing those changes (especially since they would spell nothing but trouble — as a harbinger of Ice Age winter — to Neanderthals and Cro-Magnons in Europe) is beyond me.

    It’s not for nothing that the Hebrew word for “fool” (applied to the atheist in Pss. 14 and 53) — *nabhal* (נבל) — has the subtext of carnal dissipation and carnal stubborness (see the example of David’s nemesis Nabal, who was named accordingly). I know that’s where my temptations to unbelief are rooted. Trust me, as one who came out of a skeptical background (and the older I get, the more skeptical I realize it was): that kind of thinking really isn’t interested in evidence, let alone in being grateful to anybody for things like fall colors, but in relying on its own judgment and in having its own way at any cost. Evidence in such a case is but a pretext to believe what one wants to believe. Talk about “being hardened by the deceitfulness of sin”… 😦

  2. P.S.: The atheist — and the quasi-pantheist, like Carl Sagan or Christopher Milne — should indeed be humbled by vistas such as you saw. I think most are, unless they’re making themselves so miserable in their unbelief that they have no enjoyment in life at all. But since to such people, nature is all there is, it is nature that they would thank — literally. Sagan and Milne (the latter being the famous Christopher Robin, son of A.A. Milne) have written as much.

  3. Brian L

    I think that the Blue ridge/Smoky/Allegheny mountains reside and form the most beautiful place in the US mainland. Both in the spring/early summer with the healthy greens and the stunning, vibrant color in the fall. You are fortunate to get to experience it. I have not been there for over 15 years and long to get back to it. Glad to hear that you had such a profitable meeting also. I think the proper word would be AWESOME. I have always tried to chose my words intellegently and lately have really started to take more care when using that word. I think it is something that really should be reserved for God only. Regardless, it is certainly a much overused word and holds no reverence any more- as its definition suggests it should. Probably another ploy of Satan to even further trivialize God’s power and creation. Adding to the Athiests or at least the common agenda of the Athiest’s and Satan perhaps?

  4. Howdy, and thanks, Brian L.

    I agree with part of what you have said about the word “awesome.” I gave a sermon recently about the Fear of God in which I discussed that very thing: the fact that certain words — like fear and awesome and even terrible — have lost their impact as the English language has lost its richness and depth.

    Thanks, again!

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