Down Nature's Paths



WE LIVE at the bottom of an ocean. Some of us have visited the Marineland Studios in Florida and stood at the glass sides of the great aquariums and watched the procession of life inside. The medium in which the various aquatic creatures pass is transparent—to a degree; it supports their movement; it provides them life-giving chemicals. Not only do sea animals propel themselves through this medium, but many animals move upon the ground beneath it. The water becomes to them an atmosphere.

So we live at the bottom of an ocean. It is transparent to a greater degree than the sea; yet the air may become so filled with vapors or chemicals in suspension as to become practically opaque. It supports the movements of creatures and contrivances that fly. It presses upon the bodies of the living beings that crawl upon its bottom with a weight we endure only when evenly distributed. Like the water, the air will distort the passage of light rays so as to magnify or alter the appearance of objects seen at an angle.

Like the liquid ocean, the gaseous ocean is in motion. Were it not so, life would cease through concentration of poisons—the air would become a dead sea. "All the rivers run into the sea," wrote an ancient scientist, "yet the sea is not full." Why? Because of a circuit of motion: "Unto the place whence the rivers come, thither they return again." Ecclesiastes 1:7. In that circuit the water becomes purified; in the distillation by the sun's heat the liquid drops its load of impurities and becomes pure vapor, to condense into the purest form of water, the rain.

So the air performs its circuits. "The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits." Ecclesiastes 1:6. Into the ocean of air run all the rivers of air from two billion human lungs, from countless myriads of lungs of lower creatures, from the leaves of every plant on earth, from the very pores of the globe itself in the aeration of the soil. Yet the sea of air is not full, because "it whirleth about continually."

Try to imagine what would happen on earth if all winds stopped blowing everywhere for even a few moments. If we use "winds" in the widest sense of air currents of any degree of speed, it is the constant flowing of the air that ventilates the whole world.

As the messengers of the Creator, they go on merciful errands. Even though, since man sold out his kingdom to the usurper Satan, winds often serve the prince of the power of the air, yet they still obey the higher Sovereign; and to the child of God it is the Majesty of heaven who rides upon the wings of the wind.