the Big Picture
I occasionally gazed at the night sky; the planets, stars, and galaxies. I mostly couldn't tell them apart. I sometimes used binoculars but I'm not an amateur astronomer. I knew they were incredibly distant. I felt the wonder of the immensity and mystery of the universe, but only momentarily. Its inaccessibility quickly depressed my soaring , yearning spirit. Earthly exigencies crowded in. Worldly routines intruded.
The universe is my inheritance. God has told me that I am a joint heir with Christ, who has inherited everything. Not that I want to own any of it. I'm no longer materialistic. This fallen world is not my home, however the lawn still needs mowing. I'm just at peace knowing that I'm now part of God's family and that Jesus is my brother. Over the coming ages I'll be travelling to worlds unknown, exploring the vastness of God's creation, purportedly at the "speed of thought"; light speed will not be a limitation. My late father enjoyed reading science fiction. I'm looking forward to our cosmic travels together. Mum and the kids can come too, of course. This is my future reality. My eternity starts at this moment. This earthbound, often painful existence is the blink of an eye and will soon be a distant and, miraculously, a not-unpleasant memory; a curiosity, perhaps only occasionally visited, but always cherished and marveled at.
"Superclusters – regions of space that are densely packed with galaxies – are the biggest structures in the Universe. But scientists have struggled to define exactly where one supercluster ends and another begins. Now, a team based in Hawaii has come up with a new technique that maps the Universe according to the flow of galaxies across space. Redrawing the boundaries of the cosmic map, they redefine our home supercluster and name it Laniakea, which means ‘immeasurable heaven’ in Hawaiian."
Hubble’s High-Definition Panoramic View of the Andromeda Galaxy
Our Milky Way galaxy is 100,000 light years across, and contains between 100-400 billion stars.
One light year = 5.88 trillion miles.
So if we traveled at the speed of light (186,000 miles per second) for 1,000 years, we would be only 1% of the way across our galaxy.
There are 2 trillion galaxies in the observable universe.
We can’t comprehend these numbers and these distances.
But that’s fine; who wants a small God? Who wants a God we can measure and put limits on?
Contemplating the mind-numbing size of the universe can give a perspective on our world and ourselves that makes the condescension and sacrifice of God, in the person of Jesus, so much more amazing.
If you’re not a believer, it’s worth a look, isn’t it?
What do you have to lose?
What if it’s true, that God does exist, and that He’s the best God imaginable?
You don’t have to leave your rational, enquiring mind at the door; you can maintain your intellectual integrity.
If nothing else, consider this an opportunity to be intellectually honest and properly explore the issue before rejecting His existence.
Even Professor Richard Dawkins admits he is not 100% sure that God does not exist.
During a recent debate with Dr Rowan Williams, then the Archbishop of Canterbury, it was put to Dawkins that he is described as the world’s most famous atheist.
"Not by me," he said.
"On a scale of seven, where one means I know he exists, and seven I know he doesn’t, I call myself a six."
He went on to say he was a "6.9", saying: "That doesn’t mean I’m absolutely confident, that I absolutely know, because I don’t."
In order to find God, or to put it another way, for Him to be able to reveal Himself to you, you need to:
- seek Him with all your heart.
- be genuine and sincere.
- be honest about your motives.
- have an open mind.
- be prepared to accept the existence of a spiritual dimension and the supernatural.
- put aside your pride, intellectual or otherwise (humility is the key!).
- set aside your prejudices, biases and presuppositions.
- ask God to lead you, and be open to His leading (He leads and directs us in many different ways).
- be prepared to be changed.
If you can do the above, then God can reveal Himself to you.
Ask Him to.
You will then know that He exists.