There is an old German proverb which states, “Der Teufel steckt im Detail,” which translates as the English idiom: “the devil’s in the details.”
What we mean, of course, is that certain particulars or fine points of minutiae can oftentimes come back to haunt us if they are overlooked.
This idea that in a chaotic universe, even the most ordered endeavor is soon to fall into disarray.
I suppose there is a certain earthy and homespun wisdom to this but I have to admit, on the whole, I don’t buy it.
Sure, I concede that man is capable of as much atrocity as he has imagination but I am not willing to supplant the beauty and wonder that surrounds all of creation, with the perverse belief that an utter uncertainty pervades human existence.
In the Psalms, King David writes: “The heavens declare the glory of GOD and the sky above proclaims His handiwork,” and the Apostle Paul writes to the Colossian church that in Him all things are held together.
This is what I see in the details.
Driving to work this morning, I came around a curve on Loop 571 at a goodly rate of velocity (though well within the posted speed limit) when I noticed just how beautiful everything around me appeared.
Sure, it was raining and sure I was bleary-eyed and tired from having not gone to bed early enough last night to get sufficient sleep, but I could not help but marvel at the pastoral splendor of the East Texas countryside in the morning.
The mists shimmered in the sunrise like a great golden curtain, suffusing the golden-tinged oaks and bright evergreens in gauzy hues.
I thought of the many moments in my day that I take for granted, considering them only as transitory episodes between tasks and obligations.
Day-to-day life can sometimes slip into a gray routine of drudgery, but I think such malaise should be fought with as much resistance as one is capable. Indeed, I believe it is nothing short of a fight for one’s own life.
My life consists of these moments, these trivial aspects.
The way my wife’s eyes squint when she laughs combined with the elation I feel when some oblique witticism of mine is clever enough to prompt such a reaction.
The way my elder daughter softly leans her head against mine when she’s had a rough day or just wants to cuddle, and the way my younger daughter’s pale blue eyes widen with excitement.
The way my elder son sings to himself when he thinks no one can hear him, and the way my younger son can giggle so hard that he gives himself the hiccups.
The roar of a capacity crowd on a Friday night, when a ball-carrier slips the surly bonds of the defense to touch the face of the gridiron gods.
The clicking-clack staccato rhythms of the keyboards here at the newspaper in the last hour of deadline, when the staff is straining to get their articles ready for publication and the paper ready for printing.
Truly within the seeming mundane that pervades our waking hours, it is the divine that is in the details and not some fell Adversary.
Our lives are sacred; it would behoove us to see them as such.