Greetings RedStaters, and Thank God it’s Friday! As I was praying and then worshiping God this morning He reminded me of the array of gifts that he has given to all of us, believers and unbelievers alike, to experience while we are alive (using the plain meaning of “alive”). I hope today’s thoughts may remind you of all that God has given us and the freedom and possibilities that we have here. Thank God!
You’re Not the Center of the Universe
You’re not the center of the universe, but you are an amazing, unique creation, known by name and loved by God before the creation of the universe. His children are very special to him, and he has given us some amazing gifts. And I’m not talking re-gifting some vertigo-inducing sweater that has passed through 17 gift cycles and is still searching for someone to appreciate it. I’m talking innumerable, “your choice”, “beyond your wildest imagination” gifts. Personalized. What have you chosen so far? What gifts are still ahead of you to grab onto? Even more than earthly parents do, God loves to give gifts to his children.
The MOAGC (Mother of All Gift Catalogs) Courtesy of God.
Let’s start with the universe – many of us are fascinated by it and love to know more and more. Some of us love it so much they decide to devote their entire lives to exploring and unraveling the mysteries. Will they run out of universe to explore? How big is the universe? Per Wikipedia, from Earth we can see out 46 billion light-years to the edge of the known universe, putting the distance from edge to edge of the known universe at about 91 billion light-years. A single light-year is huge on its own, 9.4607×10^15 meters. Multiply that out, and we get 8.6×10^26 meters. Roughly 10 followed by 26 zeroes, or 1 followed by 27 zeroes. Each zero is a factor of 10, also known as an “order of magnitude”.
All humans could spend all time working looking outward and not figure it all out.
Let’s go the other direction – others of us are fascinated by breaking things down into the tiniest pieces of things – molecules, nuclear particles, etc. Last I heard, smallest were “quarks”, now it looks like the “Higgs Boson” may be the smallest thing we know, with something like a “techni-quark” theorized as even smaller. Apparently I’m not going to figure out size of these things with light reading this morning, but I might have read that a photon could be described as 1×10^-15 meter in size. 0.000000000000001 meter. Fifteen orders of magnitude in the other direction. All humans could spend all time unraveling this and still not get to the end of that ball of string*. Another infinite gift.
How about living things? Unraveling the mysteries of the human body, or other life, how it works, how it is put together. Once it was thought that genetics would cover it. DNA/RNA had the whole recipe to make a human, an ape, or a worm. Then it was realized that that there is a much more complex code that controls DNA/RNA – epi-genetics will keep working on this. Another infinite gift.
Music. How infinite is the world of music, a genre of music, an instrument? One person may dedicate their life to jazz. Another to being a rock musician. Another man may find that singing to his wife is the thing she likes best in the whole universe. Another person may learn to calm the savage beast with a song. Is this not an infinite arena of joy and wonder as well?
Language. Math. Poetry. Engineering. Communication. Sports. Dance. Cataloging butterflies. Deciphering neural nets.
Love. Marriage. Children. Grandchildren! WOW.
Possibly even politics ha ha.
Wrapping it all up, and putting a bow on it
God didn’t have to do all this, but He did. He has created a place where every person can choose any direction, multiple directions, or none. They can head down these paths at any pace they want, up to and including a full sprint, and will never exhaust the beauty and richness of these gifts that God has made for us. And since the directions are entirely up to us, these are completely personalized gifts. What has He given you so far? What is still ahead? Remember to thank Him and enjoy the gifts. This of course isn’t the whole picture – but maybe for today consider the gifts and Thank God.
* String theory puns not totally unintended.