Warning: This post written many moons ago:
The power went out just a little while ago. I rubbed a bit of mosquito cream on my hands and feet and went up to the roof. Looking up into the sky I saw the stars. Since the entire city was without electricity I saw them clearer than ever before. I could make out the planet Mars. I saw the arm of the Milky Way. I even say a satellite makes its slow journey across the sky. It was an amazing sight to see. Just as I was getting into it the power came back on and in a flash half of the stars disappeared. The things of Earth got in the way.
I was trying to figure out a way that I could look at the stars without being hindered by the man-made distractions and flashy lights. I suppose I could get a telescope, and that would help me see things better. I could make a point to try to see the stars during the wee hours of the morning before the world’s lights go on. I suppose there are a few ways that I could run after a vision of the stars with fewer distractions than I have now. But, realistically, there is no way to fully escape the distracting influences of the world. I suppose I could move out to the desert where there are no people to distract, but then who would I tell about the stars? Half the joy of seeing the stars is telling others about them. Even the dust and ozone in the atmosphere serves as a veil between me and the stars. The only way I could see them perfectly clearly would be to join them.
And what a wonderful day that will be! When I can see the Morning Star and the Sun of Righteousness without the distractions of lesser lights of the contaminants of dusty viewers. We long to fly out of this earthly tent and get out where the things of Earth grow strangely dim in the Light of the universe.
I trust you’ve gathered that I’m not really talking about astronomy. But astronomy leads us to so much! I see in the vastness of the study of the universe a picture of the infinite vastness of God. Also the infinite distance that separates us. The nearest star is about 32 000 000 000 kilometers away from us. With our fastest rockets (going at about 4 000kph) we might make it there in about 900 years. And that’s our closest of about ten gajillion neighbours. All these starry neighbours of ours hang out in a town called the Milky Way. Not an especially large galaxy, compared to the other ones, but still more than impressive with a diameter of 9 500 000 000 000 000 000 kilometers. And then we can also remember that the Milky Way is one of about ten gajillion other galaxies dancing around the vast universe that we cannot even picture in our minds.
And if the painting is so cool, I wonder what the artist is like.
Piper made a neat point in an article I read the other day. People often ask why God made such a big universe only for us. He made it so we could look at its near-infinite bigness and coolness and say, “Wow. God is great.” The Universe is like a resume from God. What is God like? Well check out what He did. Wow.
So the next time you bask in the sun, think about how its surface temperature is around 16 000 000 degrees centigrade and it is fueled by a crazy-go-nuts nuclear explosion perpetually going on in its center and say to yourself, “Wow. God is great.” And think about that one day when the things of earth, the solar system, the little Milky Way and all the rest of it will grow strangely dim in the massive, awesome light of His glory and grace.