Sunday, May 3, 2009

A Few Thoughts About Our Universe

by Tom Mach

© 2009 by Tom Mach

It is unfortunate that many of us in the evening will sit in our living rooms watching television when just outside our door an incredible event is taking place. Planets suspended on nothing are spinning about; the sun is shining on the other side of the globe; the stars—an enormous number of light years away from us—are blinking back. On a particularly dark night, especially if you live away from the bright lights of the city, you can just lean back in your chair and watch the vastness of the sky. It’s even more incredible if you peer through a telescope and begin to see those celestial objects appear even closer

I know we take such things for granted, and I’m certain guilty of that as well. But as you gaze at the stars, at the bright moon, at the shining white orb of Venus, you have to wonder how did it all get here, and why is it here? And during the day, if you visit a zoo and see a giraffe with its long neck, a monkey flipping from branch to branch, or a hummingbird in rapid-motion flight …or if you walk through a garden and see the different colors and shapes of such flowers as hibiscus, orchids, roses, tulips, dahlias, rhododendrons….or if you gaze across open country and see rolling meadows, a lake flickering with tiny specks from the sun, trees of different kinds, fields, streams—if you experience such a great abundance, such a tremendous variety of beauty, how can you possibly think that this was all the result of a Big Bang and the happenstance of random molecules colliding with each other over billions of years? How can you not think there must have been some thought and design behind all of this?

I know that I’ll probably get angry emails from atheists and agnostics, but I don’t care. I’m not trying to convert anyone into my way of thinking of a Supreme Being or some Creative Intelligence. Believe whatever you want to believe, but for me, there is God who put this together for us. Yes, there are other things that are not as pleasant—children being born deformed or killer hurricanes or catastrophic earthquakes I can’t explain why these things also exist, just as I can’t explain why some people refuse to forgive others for things they’ve done or why some people find no shame in robbing or murdering I would be wiser than anyone who has ever existed if I knew the reason for all those things.

But I choose to look at the wonderment of the universe and I have to ask myself if such creation is so magnificent, so marvelous to behold, then what must the Creator be like? And if He’s created all these wonderful things, and if He’s created us with the ability to appreciate these things and to feel profound emotions like love and joy, then perhaps we ought to put our iPods away for awhile, we ought to stop tweeting our silly message for the time being, we ought to turn off the TV, we ought to take a walk in the park, we ought to look around, and then…

…we ought to thank Him.

A Child's Closing Prayer

(poem taken from Tom Mach's The Uni Verse)

The lake is smooth and as still as death

lbut an occasional cricket shatters the silence.

"Grandpa," I begin, but he shushes me.

I follow his gaze to the evening sky,

all pierced with white dots

while a round white moon

touches the darkness.

"God is here," he whispers.

"Where," I ask, frowning.

But I see his smile.

amd I understand

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