1 in 1,000,000,000,000,000

sun

I am fascinated by the universe. I am fascinated by the billions upon trillions of stars and galaxies out there and the unfathomable distances between everything. I am fascinated by the stars burning so bright that we can see them light years away and then I am fascinated by how long it takes the light to get here. It’s like we are looking at ancient information in the heavens.

Today it’s not as noticeable because the mornings are warmer, but a couple of months ago when the early morning air was in the lower fifties, I noticed that if I stepped into the path of the sun just cresting the hill behind my house, I could feel the heat from it as if I were standing in front of a portable heater. I could turn my face to it and feel it radiate. I could turn around and feel the sun heating up my back. Then I would reflect on the fact that the sun was 93 million miles away, and the actual photons that were warming my body had taken a little over 8 minutes travel time to get here. Now I like a good road trip, but that’s some traveling!

But I read this morning in an article from Breakpoint that our sun, compared to most other stars out there, is pretty tame, and it’s a good thing because otherwise, we would be toast. The article went on to point out other things in our delicate solar system and our unique place in it that makes life on this planet possible — things like being just the right distance from the sun, at the right location in the galaxy, in a solar system with gas giants that shield us from wandering asteroids and comets, with a moon just the right size to stabilize our axis and create tides and seasons, on a planet with land, liquid water, oxygen, plate tectonics, and a molten iron core to generate a magnetosphere. Tally up all these factors and come up with the probability that all these things could have combined for the benefit of this one tiny planet and the chances come out to be something like 1 in 1,000,000,000,000,000. I don’t even know what to call that figure except one, followed by fifteen zeroes! (It’s a quadrillion; I looked it up.)

And why am I reflecting on all this today? Because when it feels like things are flying out of control in our world, it’s comforting to know that we are not here by chance. And if we aren’t here by chance, then God has a plan and design for everything that is happening right now, even that which seems to us to be pretty chaotic.

So step outside today, if you can, and turn your face toward the sun and thank God  that nothing escapes His watchful eye.

This entry was posted in Natural beauty, pandemic, Worldview and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to 1 in 1,000,000,000,000,000

  1. peter leenheer says:

    Every rain drop and every snowflake is different…..WOOOOOOOW! Our God is an awesome God.

    • Mark D Seguin says:

      Big Amen! And to me He’s even more amazing the He loves me enough to let His only Son die for me!

      The only word for Grace is Amazing!

  2. Sandie says:

    If you haven’t already, take the opportunity to read Lee Strobel’s Case For A Creator. The enormity of what we take for granted is literally out of this world! John’s gospel tells us Jesus created it all. And Paul (I think) tells us He holds it all together perfectly…it’s we that mess it up!

  3. dierama says:

    I have often thought these very same thoughts but I have never had someone put an actual probability number on this specific probability that our planet should be here with all of us on it!
    I enjoyed this very much. I have not been able to take the time to listen to Lee S. as you suggest, but I have it flagged for a Covid-19 down moment where I might feel like I had the time to stop and listen to something like that. Peace to your day!
    Phil

  4. Mark D Seguin says:

    As posted on my Facebook page:

    From Today’s Catch: “… when it feels like things are flying out of control in our world, it’s comforting to know that we are not here by chance.” Amen!

  5. Ron Geib says:

    In a speech I heard from astronauts Scott and Mark Kelly, they made the statement there are 10 times more stars than grains of sand on the earth. 10 x’s!! Every time I go to the beach I’m reminded how awesome, creative and powerful our God is!! (I looked it up and found it to be true)

  6. Paul Sonkowsky says:

    A couple years ago, this was my somewhat weird response when asked to reflect on creation as expressed in Psalm 33:

    You spoke, and here we are.
    Would we have gone deaf to hear that word,
    or was it a whispered thought to set things in place?

    Why trees? Why hills? Why a new splash of color at every sunset?
    What song did the morning stars sing while the angels shouted their joy?
    Job didn’t know it — don’t look at me!

    You played ball with planets, dealt out galaxies like cards, kicked the universe into gear.
    And, most strange, put us in the scene.
    We brought disaster, and complain that life sucks.

    You could have blown it away and made a fresh start.
    But no, You still paint the picture and work with our mess.
    Noah knows that — I close my mouth.

    – Paul S. 02/17/2018

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