National Geographic Magazine.
I love those three words.
My mom has had a subscription for like 120 years, and when I go visit her, I catch up on my reading.
Yes, the articles are really interesting, but it's the award-winning photos that capture my attention.
The other night my eye was caught by the picture on the cover of a recent edition – a couple of planets – and the title: "Is Anybody Out There?"
It was about the search for life on other planets. (Some people are searching for intelligent life on other planets. Which I think is a long shot, for it's hard to find intelligent life on THIS planet…just sayin')
Do you know that I love astronomy?
When I was a little girl, I was absolutely fascinated by anything to do with outer space.
My mom bought me a fold-out map of our solar system, with colorful renderings of the planets, and interesting facts about them. I looked at that map until it was in tatters.
Now, of course, it's seriously out-of-date. For instance, in 2006 poor old Pluto was *de-planeted* – stripped of its claim to the 9th planetary position in our solar system.
Ah, but wait. Seems that the jury is still out. Thanks to the Hubble Space Telescope, we've learned that Pluto has at least five moons and an atmosphere – which is pretty impressive for something that's supposedly not a planet. One year from now, NASA will fly its first spacecraft past Pluto, and we will have all sorts of new information.
Other cool space facts?
Did you know the earth is 93 million miles away from the Sun?
Did you know that one light year = the distance something would travel in one year at the speed of light (which is 186,000 miles per SECOND?!) – and the nearest star (besides the Sun) is 4.22 light years away from Earth?
Did you know that this nearest star is called Proxima Centauri? And, by traveling at a speed of approximately 37,300 mph – (the speed of the spacecraft that will fly by Pluto) – it would take about 78,000 years to reach it?
Did you know that our galaxy, The Milky Way, is about 99,000 light years across – and it contains about 200 billion other stars?
And did you know that the Milky Way is just one of about 100 to 200 billion galaxies in the universe, each of which has hundreds of billions of stars?
Yup, my mind is boggled.
But I digress!
The most interesting thing to me about this article was the persistent quest for life beyond planet Earth.
For millennia, man has looked to the skies and been fascinated about what he sees. The mysteries of the universe, though some have been discovered, continue to mystify and perplex humans.
I'm not surprised actually.
For I believe that there is something else underlying this desire to understand the universe.
I believe it is the desire to know and touch the hand of God.
Now, sure, many scientists would deny this. Many people probably would, too. They would claim that it stems from man's search for knowledge and his place in the universe.
Which is at least partially true.
But I disagree that this is the only motive.
Whether you acknowledge it or not, we're all searching for our Creator.
"They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God." (Romans 1:19-20, NLT)
Really, then, the contemplation of the universe is really the heart of the creature longing to know the unknowable heart of God.
I am all for exploration.
The quest for knowledge, and the desire to understand mysteries, is just fine.
I believe that it is God-honoring to develop and use the mind to its fullest potential.
After all, I am fascinated with the study of many things – astronomy, anatomy, psychology, zoology, geology – just to name a few. I'm as curious as the next person.
But I find that each new piece of knowledge that I learn always leads me to one conclusion – I am more and more awed at the Creator.
It is a rather amazing thing to know that the unknowable God chooses to let Himself be revealed. His universe is uniquely made to be explored and understood.
He is not diminished by this.
Rather, by beginning to understand the intricacies of what He has created, His glory and majesty are expanded.
So, the search for life in the universe?
I say, go for it.
For all paths truly lead home…
…and that home is a Person.
The very real and mysterious and almighty and unfathomable God.
The Master Creator.
The One who chose to inhabit this particular planet at one point in human history – so that He might take on flesh and blood and be known.
I say if there's any intelligent life on THIS planet, we would be wise to seek out this God – God in the flesh – and get to know Him.
And then, launch out into the awe-inspiring search for Him in the rest of the universe.
From the vastness of nebulae to the minuteness of quarks – from the complexity of a snowflake to the simplicity of a drop of water – from the power of an atom to the gentleness of a whale – He is fascinating!!
And as much as I want to learn about His universe, as much knowledge as I seek about His creation…
I want to know HIM more.
And God said, "Let there be light,"
and there was light.
And God saw that the light was good.
And God separated the light from darkness.
"But from there you will seek the LORD your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul."
(Deuteronomy 4:12, ESV)
"For the LORD sees every heart and knows every plan and thought. If you seek him, you will find him." (1 Chronicles 28:19, NLT)
"Now devote your heart and soul to seeking the LORD your God."
(1 Chronicles 22:19, NIV)
"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you." (Matthew 7:7, ESV)
"'You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.'" (Jeremiah 29:13, ESV)
"Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God's work from beginning to end." (Ecclesiastes 3:11, NLT)
***This is a long passage, but it is worth the reading!***
"Then the LORD answered Job from the whirlwind…
'Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?
…Who determined its dimensions
and stretched out the surveying line?
What supports its foundations,
and who laid its cornerstone
as the morning stars sang together
and all the angels shouted for joy?
Who kept the sea inside its boundaries
as it burst from the womb,
and as I clothed it with clouds
and wrapped it in thick darkness?
For I locked it behind barred gates,
limiting its shores.
I said, 'This far and no farther will you come.
Here your proud waves must stop!'
Have you ever commanded the morning to appear
and caused the dawn to rise in the east?
Have you made daylight spread to the ends of the earth…
As the light approaches,
the earth takes shape like clay pressed beneath a seal;
it is robed in brilliant colors.
…Have you explored the springs from which the seas come?
Have you explored their depths?
Do you know where the gates of death are located?
Have you seen the gates of utter gloom?
Do you realize the extent of the earth?
…Where does light come from,
and where does darkness go?
Can you take each to its home?
Do you know how to get there?
…Have you visited the storehouses of the snow
or seen the storehouses of hail?
…Where is the path to the source of light?
Where is the home of the east wind?
Who created a channel for the torrents of rain?
Who laid out the path for the lightning?
Who makes the rain fall on barren land,
in a desert where no one lives?
Who sends rain to satisfy the parched ground
and make the tender grass spring up?
Does the rain have a father?
Who gives birth to the dew?
Who is the mother of the ice?
Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens?
For the water turns to ice as hard as rock,
and the surface of the water freezes.
Can you direct the movement of the stars—
binding the cluster of the Pleiades
or loosening the cords of Orion?
Can you direct the sequence of the seasons
or guide the Bear with her cubs across the heavens?
Do you know the laws of the universe?
Can you use them to regulate the earth?
Can you shout to the clouds
and make it rain?
Can you make lightning appear
and cause it to strike as you direct?
Who gives intuition to the heart
and instinct to the mind?
Who is wise enough to count all the clouds?
Who can tilt the water jars of heaven
when the parched ground is dry
and the soil has hardened into clods?"
(From Job 38, NLT)
What is something that you find fascinating about God's creation? What does it teach you about Him?
Linked today with:
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