Something to Blow Your Mind

Lately, I’ve been hungry for the truth and presence of God. I’ve been reading my book on the history of Christianity (boy, am I learning a lot!), along with more of my Bible. I’ve also been feeling a strong urge to pray and meditate. When it comes to prayer, though, I struggle. Always have. I’ve always viewed prayer as the ultimate act of faith–to speak to someone I can’t see or touch or audibly hear. There’s also the issue of what to say. Sometimes, words (even in tongues) just seem inadequate to express what’s in my soul. So last night as I laid in bed, I stared at the ceiling and tried to will words to my lips that just wouldn’t come. I finally felt God say, “It’s ok. I’m here with you. Just meditate on me.”

I know some people picture God as some old guy dressed in robes with a flowing beard. But that’s not at all how I see Him. I picture Him as the Bible describes Him, as a spirit of life, light and love–the source of all good things. So He is bright, warm, and radiant with energy and comfort. He has no physical body, features or boundaries. He just…is.

And when I’m in His presence, nothing else matters. The fiscal cliff doesn’t matter. The culture wars don’t matter. The ineptitude on Capitol Hill doesn’t matter. Worries over my career (or lack thereof) don’t matter. My sufferings on this earth, even my death, don’t matter. Because when you grasp the true nature of God, you realize that He has seen all. Is all. Is ultimately going to resolve it all. That life on this planet is barely more than a blip on the cosmic radar. What matters is that He is love, loves us, and wants to be with us–His ultimate creation–for eternity. Last night, I had this beautiful image of me wearing a white bridal gown with God sweeping me up into a joyous embrace. I am the bride of Christ! And so are you, if you believe. The joyous embrace is waiting for you, too.

Then my thoughts turned to the universe. The Bible says in Psalm 19,

The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.

And the more we study the universe, the more apparent it becomes that life is an absolute miracle. Scientists like Neil deGrasse Tyson lament the Christian perspective, assuming that belief in a Divine Creator makes people like me take a more complacent, less awed view of the natural world. But nothing could be further from the truth. I personally love science. And the more I learn about the universe, the more awed I become, and the more my faith is solidified.

Take the Big Bang, for example. The basic premise goes that some particles collided in space, causing an explosion of matter that expanded across the vacuum of space to create our universe. But there’s something about this that scientists don’t like to discuss: probability. To get particles to collide here on earth requires a huge, intricately complex machine (costing tens of billions) using computer-guided lasers. The probability that particles would collide on their own, even in an intensely dense environment, with sufficient force to send matter flying: somewhere around googolplex. Perhaps even googolplex upon googolplex. Scientists aren’t sure.

What is googolplex, you ask? It’s a number so large that it’s literally impossible to write out on paper in an entire lifetime. It has 10,100 zeros. It’s almost too large to fathom. Scientists write it out as 10^(10^(100)). If you know anything about scientific notation, you know that is a huge number.

Now add to that the probability that a certain planet (earth) would come to rest at sufficient distance from a star (sun) with all the other elements needed to support life: googolplex upon googolplex. And now begins the Theory of Evolution. The probability of 216 proteins coming together in the primordial soup in the exact order (because exact order is required) to create the world’s first living organism: trillions upon trillions. That such a life form would then mutate to create another species? That said species would then survive and continue to reproduce and mutate without going extinct? I can’t even find numbers on these, but I’m sure they are significant.

The enormity of life’s existence begins to sink in when you consider what’s required to sustain it. Diseases and negative genetic mutations have been known to wipe out entire species. A one-degree temperature change in the ocean or atmosphere can threaten the existence of numerous habitats. A few more or less parts per million of oxygen or nitrogen in the atmosphere, and we couldn’t breathe. When you begin to add up the probability that this world even exists at all, let alone in its current form, that we get out of bed every morning and drive on streets past glittering skyscrapers, you realize just how improbable and miraculous it really is. Scientists estimate that the earth is somewhere around 6 billion years old, life 3.5 billion years, and the universe over 13 billion years. It’s quite possible that the Big Bang represents a once in a hundred-billion-year event…maybe even a hundred-trillion.

But, still, scientists shy away from the word “miracle.” I don’t know what else to call it.

mir.a.cle

1. A surprising and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is considered to be divine.

2. A highly improbable or extraordinary event, development, or accomplishment.

I’d say our existence fits that definition. Wouldn’t you?

The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.

Words that haven’t gone out of date in 3,000 years. That really is miraculous.

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4 responses to “Something to Blow Your Mind

  1. Yes, it is a beautiful post. I am definitely going to share it generously.

    “God writes the Gospel not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars.” –Martin Luther

    PRAYER

    Prayer is so simple,
    It is like quietly opening a door
    And slipping into the very presence of God.
    There in the stillness
    To listen to his voice;
    Perhaps to petition,
    Or only to listen;
    It matters not.
    Just to be there
    In his Presence
    Is Prayer.

    The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays. –Soren Kierkegaard