At a recent church retreat, we were given the topic “The Worthiness of God” and asked to write a short reflection. I decided to write from a philosophical point of view. The Bible reference at the end is Paul quoting a Greek poet.

Slowly, slowly I gain consciousness, as if awaking from the deepest sleep.

Slowly I become aware of my surroundings, the world around me, the sky above, the earth below.

Slowly I become aware of myself, my breathing, my heart beating.

Where did I come from? How did I get here? I do not remember the moment when I came into existence. It is a vanishing point in my past, lost behind and before consciousness.

I have eyes that see. I have ears that hear. I have relations, family and friends. I enjoy things – food, fellowship, stories.

But where did it all come from? These things – I did not create them. They appeared in front of me. My own self appeared in front of me, before I could choose whether I wanted to have a self.

I know very little, and I am certain of nothing, except this: I did not create myself. I am not my own origin. I do not even now maintain existence. I have no power over it. My being is a debt owed to Someone else.

Before all time, before earth and sky, before all laughter and friendship and pain and sorrow, Someone caused it all to be. Someone gave me my self as a gift, and sustains it every moment without charge or cost. He holds the key to the enigma of my being. The mystery of my existence belongs to him. And he gives freely, never ceasing, never growing tired or resentful of those who ignore him.

I know very little, and I am certain of nothing, except this: that the One who gives, the one to whom I owe my very existence, the One in whom lies the vanishing point of my past and the end of all ends of my future – this One, all thanks and praise belong to him, for he is worthy.

“For in him we live and move and have our being” – Acts 17:28.

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Barney is the lead editor for the site. A theology fellow at Oxford University, he also hosts a podcast called Faith at the Frontiers.