“Delight yourself in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
Last night I was journaling about the things I have been writing in my blog lately. In particular, I was taking inventory of myself and making a list of people I have harmed yet have not made amends to. This is what Jesus as telling us in Matthew 5:23-24. One of the people on that list was me. I did this in light of Colossians 1:15-20 which I covered in my bible plan earlier in the day. Basically, it was the Spirit telling my spirit that sin indeed needs to be addressed, but so does delighting in the Lord. So, that’s what we did. It was fun!
Here’s the part that really got things going.
Colossians 1:15-17 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities – all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
“And in him all things hold together.” Have you ever thought about that before? All things are held together by Jesus. We think that gravity holds the earth in orbit around the sun, and it does, but Jesus is the one in control of it all. That idea got me to thinking about the immensity of our solar system and the universe. On one hand, things are so big. On another, they are incredibly small.
For example, when we stand among the mountains, we can scarcely take the view in. Yet, those mountains are nothing compared to the earth itself. The earth, on the other hand is nothing compared to the sun. You see where I’m going with this. Let’s make some comparisons that we might try get our heads around.
If the earth were the size of a grain of sand….
Earth = Grain of Sand
The Sun = Billiard Ball
Twenty Feet Away.
For some of us, we can easily see a speck – when it’s in someone else’s eye – but a grain of sand at 20 feet is practically invisible. Yet, that is what is spinning like a top in orbit around the cue ball-sized sun, taking a whole year to do so. Furthermore, it takes light 8 minutes to travel that distance. Using this scale, that’s about the pace that snails travel.
Let’s back it out a bit.
Pluto is just over two football lengths from the sun.
The entire solar system is about four football fields across.
Again, the earth is the size of a grain of sand
and the sun is a cue ball in the middle.
So, we have four football fields, end-to-end, with a cue ball in the middle, a grain of sand 20 feet from it, and the teeniest dust particle at the edge. Got it? Who can even see this stuff in the first place? I guess only because it is so dark and the sun is so bright that we even know our other planets are out there. It’s the contrast that makes them stand out.
Ok, using this scale, our nearest star would be 1,000 miles away! And, our own galaxy, the Milky Way, would be 30 million miles across! So, let’s pull back and rescale all this, so we can imagine it.
Our Solar System = Grain of Sand
Milky Way = 31 miles across
Nearest Galaxy = 600 miles away
Observable Universe = 23 million miles across
Folks, these are distances we can’t wrap our heads around. If the Milky Way was a grain of sand, the universe would be the size of the Empire State Building! What’s even more staggering, all this is basically empty. Sure, there is stuff called Dark Matter; but as far as physical elements, this whole system is empty. My guess is that if God shook everything into a corner, all the dust wouldn’t make a pile.
Yet, all that “dust” hangs in a delicate balance, like a mobile that school kids make. Everything is interconnected. Nothing “hangs” in isolation. On one hand, our galaxy is pulled by every other galaxy’s gravity while at the same time it is pushed by their force of light. Our gravity is pulling us towards them, and our sun’s solar wind is pushing us away. The same is true inside our solar system. With virtually no physical matter, every little bit interacts with the other. I can’t imagine any human mechanism being so complex.
Let’s really think about this. It’s unimaginable that life on any planet can even exist. We are just the right distance from earth. Any closer and we fry. Any farther and we freeze. Our axis is perfect, otherwise we have the same problem. Our moon is the perfect size and the perfect distance away. Without it, the earth would tip over, throwing everything off.
And that’s just the stuff we see. When you consider that the same type of unimaginable scale exists at the atomic level, with the same type of “emptiness,” one simply must be staggered at the thought.
Anyway, you get the picture. Yet, what does the bible tell us about this incredible “mobile”?
“And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”
You think your job is crazy? Yet, he does all this continually and STILL has time in his busy day to pray for you! (Romans 8:34)
Before we walk away from all this imagery and start our Monday, let’s think again about the earth and the Sun and all the galaxies. What did God say about all these things that Jesus made and holds together?
“And God saw everything that he had made,
and behold, it was very good.”
Delight yourself in the Lord!
Father, thank you. Amen.