A Walk Along The Beach

On a sunny day someone walks along the ocean beach. A strong storm the night before has washed a lot of debris, sea shells and sea stars ashore. But what’s that? Something is peaking out from a greenish heap of algea and sea weed. A yellow object: A ball.

How did it get here? Has a child lost it while playing? Was it just carelessly dropped and then forgotten or did it get washed up by wind and waves? How can one know? Yet there can be no doubt that this strange object may indeed tell an interesting story.

Story no. 1:

Some time ago the ball was made by somebody, either by machine or manually. The ball cannot tell who exactly made it. This remains a secret because no manufacturer’s inscription can be seen on the worn out rubber surface.

But perhaps it happened in a wholly different way – let’s keep an open mind instead of focusing on one story only, especially when there is another story with a lot of details, each single detail being possible indeed.

Story no. 2:

A long time ago there were two trees growing on the shore of a Southern Pacific island: a coconut palm tree (Cocos nucifera) and a rubber tree (Ficus elastica). One day a coconut fell down and hit a sharp-edged rock, resulting in a small hole in its shell. It did not take long until a large number of ants discovered the delicacy. Slowly, crumb by crumb, they ate up the inner part of the nut, leaving only the coconut shell behind. Occasionally, the wind grabbed the empty nut shell, rolling it back and forth. One day, the nut came to lie right under the rubber tree, with its hole pointing upwards. Just a short time before, a bird had ripped a leaf off the rubber tree, causing a small wound. Little drops of fresh rubber juice were now dripping out of that wound, exactly through the hole into the empty coconut shell. Much later on, the wind kept the nut rolling around in the hot beach sand. The heat caused vulcanization, the rubber began to harden. Finally, a strong wind blow kicked the nut into the ocean. For many weeks and months it was exposed to the salty ocean water, making the shell rot away. A yellow, ball-shaped rubber core was left, drifting with the ocean currents until it got deposited on that beach far away.

Which story will seem more credible to anyone walking along that beach? It depends on several factors – education, the ability to question what others believe and on the amount of courage needed to become an outsider for the love of truth.

We wish you, dear reader, a lot of joy on your next walk in nature. Maybe you won’t come across a yellow ball. But you will certainly be able to marvel at things and beings far more complex than that. Everything has its story – which version of the story will you believe?

“because that which is known of God is manifest in them; for God manifested it unto them. For the invisible things of him since the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived through the things that are made, even his everlasting power and divinity; that they may be without excuse

(Romans 1:19-20 ASV)