This morning I was asked, “What would you do if you knew this was your last day on earth?” I was surprised how fast and how seemingly boring the answer was. I would talk to god and try to talk to all the people that touched my life, be it good or bad, and thank them for being part of my life.
The timing of the question is uncanny, as yesterday I was looking at a computer model that actually maps about 100,000 stars within the known Milky Way galaxy.
Go ahead and play. It is pretty cool. It also shows a tiny fraction of the known universe with billions of galaxies and trillions of stars.
What had my mind thinking “why does man think he is so special” was when I was scrolling down from the sun level and a graphic came up that said “The voyager spacecraft is the furthest man made object from earth. It has traveled 17 light hours.”
When I read that graphic, I started laughing. The nearest star is 4.3 light years away. The Milky Way is 100 – 120,000 light years in diameter.
To put that in comparison, the “known” universe is 93,000,000,000 light years across.
Then I got a brain freeze when I tried to go the other direction with scale and imagine that there are more atoms in a grain of sand than stars in the universe.
Why exactly does man think he is so special? That is the question I guess most of us will ponder at one time or another in our lives.
When I had the first spatial acoustic array being set up in Reston, VA, someone handed me a copy of NASA’s symphony of the stars. It was a compilation of sound and frequencies from the spacecraft that was synthesized into normal human hearing range.
I would play this CD at night, when it was dark and quiet. A time when everyone was probably back at their house watching television or something. I would be frustrated trying to learn 3d modeling and animation software and trying to get the ideas I could not sketch in a legible form to most, into something that a computer rendering would suffice for explanation.
Many of those nights, I would just put in the 5 cd’s and hit play on the speakers and many times find myself stopping to listen. “This is what is going on in space? It sounds like it was composed, as if something actually wrote it.”
There were several such moments where one could simply stop and marvel. Pushing the signal through the subwoofer arrays made an even more indelible impression of the majesty of trying to encapsulate how large the universe is.
Now I am back to “reality” here on earth. People are worried, people are not comfortable with the unknown, people seem to seek a world where there is very little change and life is “easy.”
I guess that is where we come into the last portion of this post. I asked someone, “Why can’t you sleep?” I got an answer I was all too familiar with from the worldly aspect. One has bills, responsibilities, and obligations that somehow man says are important to worry about.
When I mentioned that in holy books it says, “don’t worry.”
Usually one gets the earthly explanation of “worry.” You try to say, “No, what it means is trust god, and let him worry for you. But you have to let go of everything and not hold onto the steering wheel of your life anymore.”
(I must confess, that moment only happened about 10 years ago in my own life. I am grateful to actually learn the lesson)
“But, what if there is not God?” Is usually the next question for the construct of trying to defend why it is good to worry about things that really don’t mean much in the grand scale of time?
“God is a question of faith. Either you believe or you don’t believe in something that is unseen.”
My faith comes from the high points I was lucky enough to get to experience in life, but in reality, the faith and belief in god doesn’t come from when the times were good, but rather, the worst, most trying, difficult, humbling, and even life threatening times in my life. Those are when you realize there is something more in this universe that we can’t see with our normal human senses. Those are the moments when you do learn to stop worrying because you realized no matter how horrific the events – life will go on, you will be fine – just trust god.
Then again, many people, as well as myself, could be completely wrong in the idea of god? But I when I go from trying to comprehend a few trillion atoms in a grain of sand and then play with 100,000 stars from the aforementioned url, in a universe that has trillions of them.
Well? That is my case that a pretty amazing designer of all things exists.
I call him god.
The funny thing is that despite all the trillions of stars and billions of galaxies, he actually has the time to come to a small blue planet in a tiny solar system in one of the galaxies and have a conversation with little ole insignificant me, you, or anyone else that wants to chat with him.
I guess having that type of capability as an entity freaks most people out? So they spend their days worrying about stuff. The irony is that whether god exists or not, the logical conclusion to both arguments is “why worry?” There is no need to.