Friday, April 25, 2008

God in The Smallest Place

As a Christian, I have always been fascinated with space, looking in awe at the grandness of the universe, feeling like an ever-shrinking man as I consider the enormity and grandeur of it all.

Psalm 19:1 "19:1-6 The heavens declare the glory of God"

However, there is something that has always bugged me about space. It also seems to be a very cold and lonely place. I have the feeling that if I were to be stranded on a space walk, I wouldn't sense God's presence, but might instead feel like I was alone on an island.

So much of what I write about on the Pendulum Effect is truth found in paradox. Do we err to look for God among the grandness of spinning galaxies and in the "bells and whistles" of supernovas and black holes?

I'm a musician (an adjunct professor) and I laugh that what is often celebrated as music in our culture, is nothing more than a good looking "pop tart", lip syncing to a song that she didn't write, with choreographed dancers all moving to "strings" being pulled by record company executives in order to sell what is prostituted to be "music".

"I don't know anything about music. In my line you don't have to."
Elvis Presley (1935 - 1977)

Call me an elitist if you want, but I assure you that the more one learns about music (from an "under the hood" musician's standpoint), the more jaded this perception becomes.

C.S. Lewis once wrote, "We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday by the sea. We are far too easily pleased."

Once I asked a budding 7 year old guitar protege of mine on his first guitar lesson if he knew how to tune his guitar. I had to chuckle inside as he told me, "Yes. I simply turn all the tuning pegs until they all are pointing in the same direction."

His guitar certainly looked good, but it sounded horrible, as I demonstrated to his amusement.

God doesn't reside in the enormous any more than wonderous things reside in Circus side shows advertising themselves as "Amazing! Stupendous! Never seen before! Lifechanging!"

As amazing as the universe is, what is more awe-inspiring than the birth of a precious newborn? Tiny and helpless, the innocence and purity of a newborn child screams "The Glory of God" in its cries in ways that a planetarium fails to capture in our imaginations.

I Kings 19:11-13:
The LORD said, "Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by."
Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.
Then a voice said to him, "What are you doing here, Elijah?"

Just as God was found not in the wind or the earthquake or in the fire, but in the gentle whisper, let me suggest that God is not found in the grandness of the universe, but rather in the heart of the humblest of believers. He is not "out there" in the ethos, but to those of us who believe and serve Him, He is to be found so close as to be only a whisper away....

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