If you’re a materialist who believes only in what is revealed through the senses, or one of those scientists who believe that everything can be known through the application of reason and the collection of evidence, then you are not likely to see the mystery that lies at the heart of everything. But through all the ages, some humans have recognized that mystery, and it has called them to recognize and worship one or more of the aspects of God.
I’m not talking about mystery in the sense that we commonly mean by the word. I don’t mean a puzzle that we could reason through, or a problem that hasn’t yet been solved for lack of data. I don’t mean an occurrence that could be understood if only we knew enough about its causes and their effects. I don’t mean at all what we mean when we talk about mystery fiction, or mysterious lights in the sky, or a mysterious disappearance. What I’m talking about is something else entirely.
Being human, we are limited and flawed beings. You don’t have to believe in the Fall of Humankind or any similar doctrine to know that we are limited and imperfect. Simple self-examination will show us the truth of our imperfections. If we’re limited, then why should we expect to be able to understand everything? Why should we worship logic, which is a tool of human reason? Reason is itself limited and imperfect, since it is a faculty of imperfect beings.
Logic is not the only way of knowing. We can know things without understanding them. We can sense things beyond our physical senses. Mystery is another way of sensing Truth we can’t understand through reason.
The mystery that lies at the heart of everything, that connects us to everything that ever has been or ever will be, is beyond our human understanding. It’s something we will never be able to reason our way through. We can’t describe it in concrete or reasonable terms. We can’t predict it, and we often don’t recognize its motions. We make statements about it, but we have no way of knowing how accurate they are. Throughout time, human beings have sensed that mystery and called it God. It’s as good a name as any, but if we really sense the mystery, we can’t say what we mean by that name.