I've always had a fascination with the stars. Growing up in the city that designed and built the Saturn V rocket that first took man to the moon probably had a lot to do with it. Not to mention, living in rural Alabama gives you a pretty great view of the sky at night. I remember my brother and I used to go out and lie in the grass and look for constellations and satellites. Now, as a 100% grown man, I have an app on my phone that tells me everything I want to know about the stars in real time! I'm borderline obsessed with it. It's pretty awesome!
So many times, even still today, when I go out and look at the stars I find myself in amazement at the beauty that God created. More than just the beauty, is the shear magnitude of how big everything really is.
Let me get nerdy for just a second:
It's estimated that there might be as many as three sextillion stars in the universe. That's 3 followed by 23 zeros, or 300,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. That's more than all of the grains of sand on Earth.(1)
That's so much!!!
Edwin Hubble in 1925 was the first to prove that the universe is expanding. He proved that there is a direct relationship between the speeds of distant galaxies and their distances from Earth. This is now known as Hubble’s Law. (2)
So, the universe, even stuff we can't see, is constantly getting bigger... This is crazy.
Is God Up There?
Often, when we think about God, we look up. People call him things like, "the man upstairs" or refer to heaven as a place that is above us.
But the question is, is that where God actually is?
Is heaven a really a distant land far above us where God is sitting on a throne? While it might be easy to think that, there's a problem with that thought process:
It puts God in a singular place that is super far from where we are. It makes it easy for us to look at our relationship with Him as one that is distant. A transactional relationship which we can be accepted or denied. A type of view that has us "ask God" to come from where he's at up there and be a part of our life, way down here.
While there are scriptures that give us this mental picture of what Heaven is like and what God is like, there are far more scriptures that give us evidence that God is not in a singular location. That he really is everywhere, all of the time.
"But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain You..." 1 Kings 8:27
"Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the dawn, If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, Even there Your hand will lead me, And Your right hand will lay hold of me." Psalm 139:7-10.
Where's Your Liver?
I know, this might seem like an odd question to ask, but track with me for a second, this is all going to make sense.
I had to Google that question just the other day. I had no idea where it was because, believe it or not, I've never seen it... I mean, it's mine, it does stuff for me that I don't even understand, but I know it's there because, well, I'm still alive.
Turns out, it's on the upper right side of your abdominal and is the largest internal organ in the body! Crazy, right?
As I already mentioned, I've never seen my liver. But let me ask you something - Has my liver, if it could, ever seen me?
Theoretically, the answer is yes, obviously. I'm always with my liver, and my liver is always in me - it's in my body.
Can we actually "Find" God?
Here's the answer, straight-up... No.
A lot of the time, in western Christian culture, we often relate that God, or Jesus, has to be found. Not like that He is lost and we've got to find him, but that we have discovered who He is and what he has actually done for us.
There's a problem with that language though, it can be a real easy jump from there to, "inviting God into your life" - which we've also seen. God, then, much like a counselor, mentor, trainer or yoga instructor, becomes an entity that we've signed up with that will ultimately make our lives better.
Now I don't have time to talk today about how when we sign up to be a Christian that we are signing up to die. That we are in essence agreeing to a life of going against the grain and living with an uncommon purpose - but it's true.
Here's the point I want to make:
Looking for God is a lot like our liver trying to find us. It can look up, down, left or right, and we are there. Doesn't matter what day or time it is. Your liver isn't going to ask you to be a part of it's life. Your liver can't request that you come be a part of what it's doing. You always are and in turn, it's always a part of you and what you're doing. It can stretch as far as it wants and it's never going to be outside of you. This is a fact.
The universe - So vast, and so magnificent. Almost incomprehensible.
Science will tell you that the universe is expanding because the Big Bang sat everything into motion a long time ago and it's still moving. I want to propose to you, that the universe is stretching, reaching, with fingers spread wide open, trying to find the end of God.
Because, God, ladies and gentlemen, is everywhere. We are, much like the liver, inside of Him. It's not about "Finding God" It's about becoming more aware of Him. Because He is here. Doesn't matter where you are, what you're doing or when you're doing it, He's there.
We've got to get past the idea that God is a single being, that we invite to be a part of what we are doing, and recognize that God is everything and He DIED so that we could actively participate in what it is He is doing. Today, what we really need is an awareness shift.
Until Next Time,