Today, I saw a news article: NASA is on a hiring spree, for the first time in a very long time.
Reading further, the journalist explained that all of this is in anticipation of a trip to Mars some day. They are looking for astronauts.
And, for just split, split second, my mind went there.
“I have friends who work at NASA. I wonder if they have any pull. I wonder if they know anyone, who would give me a shot.”
I want to go to Mars.
My fascination with the sky goes beyond the daytime, and stretches in to the night. One of my favorite books, as a child, was The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet by Eleanor Cameron. I love the stars, I love the planets, I love the moon.
But why did God create such fantastical things as uninhabitable places? And stars. And asteroids. And black holes. And comets.
I want to know.
One of my favorite places, in all the world, is on top of Mauna Kea; a volcano on the Big Island. Goodness, I love that space of this earth. Way up there, in the thin, cold air, there is so little light pollution. At the very top are huge telescopes–monstrous in size–built by different countries of the world. Just below that level, at the 9,200 foot elevation, is a small visitor center. (Click here to visit their website)
And, each night that visitor center is transformed into something–I don’t know, miraculous? At least, it seems that way to me.
Because each night, people gather in the parking lot, wrapped up in blankets, sipping on hot chocolate, while amateur astronomers set up fancy telescopes in the yard, for every one to look through.
And someone “in charge” will usually give a “presentation”—using a laser pointer, they will point out different constellations and facts about the heavens above.
Truly, it is an amazing experience. I grew up in Iowa. I’m used to very dark skies, in the country, late at night, and being able to see the stars so very clearly. But Iowa is nothing compared to what can be seen on that volcano in the middle of the Pacific.
Why? Why did God create such things as planets?
There is a Tommy Walker song titled “Let’s Think About Our God”, that has a line that kind of points to what must be a portion of the answer:
Let’s think about our Lord
Who formed the stars above
So we could have a glimpse
Of His glory up above
I think that, surely, these words must point to a part of the answer, at least.
There is an awe-striking that occurs, when a person gazes at the sky. It captivates us. It stuns us, when we catch a meteor shower. It makes us catch our breath, when we gaze through a telescope on a Hawaiian volcano and see the actual rings of Saturn—yes, they really do exist, and are every bit as marvelous as the pictures we’ve seen in science class.
All these fantastical, tremendous, explanation-defying sights that we behold in the sky, are this:
They are just a glimpse, of His glory.
It’s the stuff, of Isaiah 40:26:
Lift up your eyes on high and see:
who created these?
He who brings out their host by number,
calling them all by name,
by the greatness of his might,
and because he is strong in power
not one is missing.
He is, truly, the creator God, great in might and strong in power.
And, it is this in Psalm 19; o my soul:
The heavens declare His glory. The sky proclaims His handiwork.
And those planets point to their creator. Those comets and stars and moons and suns–they each give us just a glimpse of creative brilliance that reflect who the Creator is–immense and omnipresent.
Because, you see–we can’t get away from the sky. It is always, always there. It is reliable. Even when clouds obscure it, we know it is there. And there is great security in that. I love the sky.
And that’s how our God is. He is the God who is there. Even when we can’t see Him; when life seems to cloud over the sense of His presence; He is still there.
Which is why these lyrics–from the same Tommy Walker song as above–are so settling.
He is high. He is lofty. But He is also near.
Stunning Milky Way time-lapse photobombed by Aurora Borealis
Watch this stunning time-lapse video of the Milky Way get photobombed by the Aurora Borealis.Have an awesome, nature-filled weekend!Posted by Greenpeace Canada on Friday, 30 October 2015