Quiddity

By Tony Fairchild, President of Bradford’s Board of Directors

I am a deer hunter.  That is to say, I enjoy hunting deer even though I am not very good at it.  I have often sat in the woods waiting for daylight on a morning hunt.  I look up at the multitude of stars all around me and I am in awe of God’s power. There is a moment, right at daybreak, when a single bird chirps and is quickly joined by others. Squirrels scramble out of their nests and down the trees.  The temperature drops a few degrees and I can begin to see the fog rising from the creek.  Sometimes in that moment (if my mind is not distracted by my “to do” list, or thoughts of how cold I am, or my desire for coffee) I am utterly amazed by the tangible, indescribable, realness of God’s creation.  There are many such moments in our lives, but I am afraid that most of the time we miss them. We spend our days seeing, but not seeing, tasting, but not tasting.  Reader, I would like to encourage you to stop and soak in the realness of God’s creation; the “isness” of everything that surrounds us; what C. S. Lewis calls the “quiddity” of things.  In the book, Surprised by Joy, Lewis speaks of a friend who encouraged in him “a determination to rub one’s nose in the very quiddity of each thing, to rejoice in its being so magnificently what it was.”  This is the way God intended us to see His creation.

The world in which we live has been saturated by postmodern thought. This is the worldview that says that nothing is really knowable.  There is no objective truth or reality.

“There are no hard distinctions between what is real and what is unreal, nor between what is true and what is false.  A thing is not necessarily either true or false; it can be both true and false.” Harold Pinter (Nobel Prize winner)

This sounds so absurd that it is unimaginable that anyone really believes it.  Never-the-less, this philosophy is a driving force in our society and our educational system.  We want the students at Bradford to be equipped to go out into this lost and blind culture and be able not only to see for themselves, but also to help remove the scales from the eyes of those around them.  That is why we saturate them in a Christ centered worldview.  Every subject is taught with Christ as its focal point!  You see, the very real, quiddity of this world was intended to point to the very real God who created it.  We cannot fully know, understand or enjoy the universe without knowing its Creator.

Can a postmodernist enjoy the beginning of the day that I described earlier?  Yes, but not the way I can because I know that it is real and it is not an end unto itself.  The beauty of today points to a far greater reality. The beauty and joy of the present reality is only a drop in the ocean compared to what I will see.

So, as we begin autumn and very quickly enter the holiday season, try to stop now and then and take in the awesome realness of what God has done.  Observe with wonder the colors of fall.  Taste the turkey and the pumpkin pie with greater pleasure because God made such flavors.  Enjoy the quiddity of our Heavenly Father’s world.

For by him (Christ Jesus) all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. Colossians 1:16

COVID-19 Bradford will resume in August according to previously published calendar. - Updates, click here. For remote learning resources, click here.
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