Story. A Great Mountain, a Little Stream, a Fierce Wind, and a Gigantic Wave
There was a tiny stream that meandered to and fro, finally arriving at the foot of a great mountain. The mountain was blocking the tiny stream’s path, so the stream asked the mountain in his weak, little voice, “Please let me pass, you are standing in my way and blocking my path forward.” The mountain then asked, “Where are you going?” To which the little stream responded, “I am looking for my home.” The mountain said, “Alright, go ahead and flow right over me!” But because the tiny stream was too weak and too young, there was no way for it to flow over such a large mountain, so it had no choice but to keep flowing to the foot of the mountain …
A fierce wind swept by, carrying with it sand and dust to where the mountain stood. The wind bellowed at the mountain, “Let me pass!” The mountain asked, “Where are you going?” The wind howled back, “I want to go over to that side of the mountain.” The mountain said, “Alright, if you can break through my middle, then you can go!” The fierce wind howled this way and that, but no matter how furiously it blew, it couldn’t break through the middle of the mountain. The wind grew tired, and stopped to rest. So on that side of the mountain only a weak wind blew fitfully, which pleased the people there. Such was the greeting the mountain gave to the people …
At the seashore, the ocean spray rolled gently against the reef. Suddenly, a gigantic wave came up and roared its way toward the mountain. “Move over!” shouted the gigantic wave. The mountain asked, “Where are you going?” The great wave did not stop, and it continued to surge as it responded, “I’m expanding my territory and I want to stretch my arms a bit.” The mountain said, “Alright, if you can pass over my peak, I’ll yield the way.” The great wave moved back a bit, and then once again surged toward the mountain. But no matter how hard it tried, it couldn’t get over the mountain. It had no choice but to slowly recede back from whence it came …
Over the centuries, the tiny stream trickled gently around the foot of the mountain. By following the course the mountain had made, the tiny stream made it back to its home; it joined the river, and flowed into the sea. Under the mountain’s care, the tiny stream never became lost. The tiny stream and the great mountain relied on one another, they restrained one another, and depended on one another.
Over the centuries, the fierce wind did not change its habits of howling at the mountain. The fierce wind blew great swirls of sand when it “visited” the mountain just as it had before. It threatened the mountain, but never broke through the middle of the mountain. The fierce wind and the great mountain relied on one another, they restrained one another, and depended on one another.
Over the centuries, the gigantic wave did not rest either, and never stopped expanding. It would roar and surge again and again toward the mountain, yet the mountain never moved an inch. The mountain watched over the sea, and in this way, the creatures in the sea multiplied and thrived. The gigantic wave and the great mountain relied on one another, they restrained one another, and depended on one another.
This story is finished. First, what can you tell Me about this story, what the main content was? First there was a mountain, a tiny stream, a fierce wind, and a gigantic wave. What happened in the first part with the tiny stream and the great mountain? Why would we talk about the great mountain and the little stream? (Because the mountain protected the stream, the stream never got lost. They relied on each other.) Would you say the mountain protected or obstructed the tiny stream? (Protected it.) Could it be that it obstructed it? The mountain and the tiny stream were together; it protected the stream, and it was also an obstruction. The mountain protected the stream so it could flow into the river, but also kept it from flowing all over the place where it could flood and be disastrous for the people. Is this the main point of this section? The mountain’s protection of the stream and its acting as a barrier safeguarded the homes of the people. Then you have the tiny stream joining the river at the foot of the mountain and later flowing into the sea; isn’t that the imperative of the tiny stream? When the stream flowed into the river and then the sea, what was it relying on? Wasn’t it relying on the mountain? It was relying on the mountain’s protection and the mountain acting as a barrier; is this the main point? Do you see the importance of mountains to water in this instance? Does God have His purpose in making mountains both high and low? (Yes.) This is a small part of the story, and from just a tiny stream and a big mountain we are able to see the value and significance of these two things in God’s creation of them. We can also see His wisdom and purpose in how He rules these two things. Isn’t that right?
What does the second part of the story deal with? (A fierce wind and the great mountain.) Is wind a good thing? (Yes.) Not necessarily, since sometimes if the wind is too strong it can be disastrous. How would you feel if you had to stay out in the fierce wind? It depends on how strong it was, right? If it was a slight breeze, or if it was a level 3–4 wind then it would still be tolerable, at most a person would have trouble keeping their eyes open. But could you handle it if the wind blew strong enough to become a tornado? You wouldn’t be able to take it. So it’s wrong for people to say that the wind is always good, or that it’s always bad because it depends on how strong the wind is. So what use is the mountain here? Isn’t it somewhat like a filter for the wind? The mountain takes the fierce wind and cuts it down into what? (A slight breeze.) Most people could touch and feel it in the environment where they lived—was it a fierce wind or a slight breeze that they felt? (A slight breeze.) Isn’t this one of the purposes behind God’s creation of mountains? Isn’t this His intent? What would it be like for people to live in an environment where the fierce wind blew around bits of sand without anything to block or filter it? Could it be that with sand and stones blowing around, people wouldn’t be able to live on the land? Some people might get hit in the head by the stones flying about, or others might get sand in their eyes and wouldn’t be able to see. People could get sucked up into the air or the wind could blow so hard they couldn’t stand. Houses would be destroyed and all sorts of disasters would happen. Does the fierce wind have value? When I said that it was bad, then people might feel it has no value, but is that right? Doesn’t turning it into a breeze have value? What do people need most when it’s humid or stifling? They need a slight breeze to gently blow over them, to refresh and clear their heads, to sharpen their thinking, to repair and improve their state of mind. For example, you are all sitting in a room with lots of people and the air is stuffy, and what do you need most? (A slight breeze.) In places where the air is turbid and full of dirt it can slow down a person’s thinking, reduce their blood flow, and make them less clear-headed. However, the air will become fresh if it gets a chance to move and circulate, and people will feel much better. Even though the little stream and the fierce wind could become a disaster, as long as the mountain is there it will turn them into things that actually benefit people; isn’t that right?
What does the third part of the story talk about? (The great mountain and the huge wave.) The great mountain and the huge wave. The scenery here is a mountain by the sea where we can see the mountain, the ocean spray, and also, a huge wave. What is the mountain to the wave in this instance? (A protector and a screen.) It is both a protector and a screen. The goal of protecting it is to keep this part of the sea from disappearing so that the creatures that live in it may thrive. As a screen, the mountain keeps the sea water—this body of water—from overflowing and causing a disaster, which would harm and destroy people’s homes. So we can say that the mountain is both a screen and protector.
This shows the significance of the mutual reliance between the mountain and the stream, the mountain and the fierce wind, and the mountain and the huge wave and how they restrain one another and depend on one another, which I have spoken of. There is a rule and a law governing the survival of these things that God created. Can you see what God did from what happened in the story? Did God create the universe and then ignore what happened after? Did He give them rules and design the ways that they function and then ignore them after that? Is that what happened? (No.) What is that then? God is still in control of the water, the wind, and the waves. He does not let them run amok and He does not let them harm or destroy people’s homes, and because of this the people can continue to live and thrive on this piece of land. Which means that God had already planned out the rules for existence when He made the universe. When God made these things, He ensured that they would benefit mankind, and He also controlled them so that they wouldn’t be troublesome or disastrous to mankind. If they weren’t managed by God, wouldn’t the waters be flowing everywhere? Wouldn’t the wind be blowing all over the place? Do they follow rules? If God didn’t manage them they wouldn’t be governed by any rules, and the wind would howl and the waters would rise and flow about everywhere. If the huge wave had been higher than the mountain would that area of the sea still be able to exist? The sea wouldn’t be able to exist. If the mountain was not as high as the wave, that area of the sea would not exist and the mountain would lose its value and significance.
Do you see God’s wisdom in these two stories? God created the universe and He is Lord of it; He is in charge of it and He provides for it while watching over every word and action. He also oversees every corner of human life. So God created the universe and the significance and value of each thing as well as its function, its nature, and its rules for survival are clearly known to Him like the back of His hand. God created the universe; do you think He has to do research on these rules that govern the universe? Does God need to read up on human knowledge or science to do research and understand it? (No.) Is there anyone among mankind who has the extensive scholarship and ample wisdom to understand all things like God does? There isn’t. Right? Are there any astronomers or biologists who truly understand how all things live and grow? Can they truly understand the value of the existence of each thing? (They cannot.) This is because all things were created by God, and no matter how much and deeply mankind studies this knowledge, or how long they endeavor to learn it, they will never be able to fathom the mystery and purpose of God’s creation of all things, isn’t that right? …
Let’s take another look at this story we just heard—the great mountain and the little stream. What is the use of the mountain? Living things flourish on the mountain so there is value to its existence by itself. At the same time, the mountain blocks the little stream, ensuring that it does not flow wherever it wants and thereby bring disaster to the people. Isn’t that right? By virtue of the mountain’s existence, it allows living things like the trees and grasses and all the other plants and animals on the mountain to flourish while also directing where the little stream flows; the mountain gathers up the waters of the stream and guides them naturally around its foot where they may flow into the river and eventually the sea. The rules that are in place here were not made by nature, but instead were especially arranged by God at the time of creation. As for the great mountain and the fierce wind, the mountain, too, needs the wind. The mountain needs the wind to caress the living things that live upon it, and at the same time the mountain restricts how hard the fierce wind may blow so that it does not overwhelm and devastate. This rule holds, in a way, the duty of the great mountain, so did this rule regarding the mountain’s duty take form on its own? (No.) It was instead made by God. The great mountain has its own duty and the fierce wind has its duty as well. Now, about the great mountain and the huge wave, without the mountain being there would the water find a direction of flow on its own? (No.) The water would also overwhelm and devastate. The mountain has its own value as a mountain, and the sea has its own value as a sea. In this way, under these circumstances where they are able to exist together normally and where they each do not interfere with one another, they also restrict one another; the great mountain restricts the sea so that it does not flood and thus it protects the people’s homes, and this also allows the sea to nurture the living things that dwell within it. Did this landscape take form on its own? (No.) It was also created by God. We see from these images that when God created the universe, He predetermined where the mountain would stand, where the stream would flow, from which direction the fierce wind would begin to blow and where it would go, as well as how high the huge waves would be. God’s intentions and purpose are held within all of these things and they are His deeds. Now, can you see that God’s deeds are present in all things? (Yes.)
from The Word Appears in the Flesh