Seeing God through an Orange

Veronica - San Jose, California
Entered on April 24, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe in God. On an average, I reach this conclusion several times a day. I sense God in the complexities of the world: in the beautiful music of my favorite band, Queen; in the sound of my family and friends’ laughter; in the feeling of my heart pounding while I play soccer; in all of those instances known as “coincidences”; and even in the structure of an orange. My family members and I each all have our own reasons for believing in God. For my Mom, God helped her recover from my father’s death. My cousins claim that God has held their family together. For me, God explains this complex and grand world, the mystery of life, and how I am who I am. After having gone through a period of doubting God, surprisingly, it was science that brought me to make this conclusion. I am not an individual who has ever particularly enjoyed science and math classes in the past, but I owe my belief in God to nature.

My Mom and I have occasional discussions about God’s existence, but it was over our dining table while having tea that I felt this profound conclusion come to me. We were discussing a topic unrelated to God, spirituality, or religion. I was eying the orange in front of me, imagining how good it would be to eat it. I grabbed the orange and began to peal it. Suddenly, I exclaimed to my Mom, “Wow, oranges are so cool. Look, they have a protective layer known as the peel around them. Then you get to the pith and then…” At first, my Mom gave me a confused look, but then we both began to examine this mystery of an orange. Have you ever actually examined and analyzed an orange? I find myself overwhelmed every time I peel one. As I peel the orange, I marvel at how the white material, the pith, is so meticulously placed around the actual fruit like veins. Then there are the actual slices that are perfectly cut. An orange almost looks man-made to me, for it has such delicate precision.

It is not just in oranges that I see the existence of God, but it is all of nature. The fact that conifer trees produce cones that then grow to be other trees is amazing. The fact that water is made of millions of smaller particles is phenomenal. Whenever I am in the woods or a park, I lay under the trees and listen to a creek rush down the rocks. There are no words to describe the sound of such perfection. I do not see such aspects of nature to be manifestations of God’s simplicities, but rather I am in awe of the complexities and details. Maybe the world cannot agree on God’s existence or how to go about spirituality, but I think that everyone can agree that nature is amazing. One does not need to be a part of a formal religious institution to look at an orange and think, “Wow.”