‘By the words of the Lord, the heavens were made; and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth.’ (Psalm 33:6)
I read a short story the other day about a ‘game-boy in paradise’. I had never thought of such an expression before and it took me by surprise how much it fit into so much of our daily lives somehow. The story was about a father and son who had taken a tour to Alaska. They were on a train headed back from the ‘wilderness’ to catch a plane to the lower states. As they traveled, each tugged at the single camera they had with them. Riding in a glass topped coach, they could see wonderful, beautiful scenes of the Alaskan landscape. Each was trying to capture, with that single camera, their view out the window of some of the most terrific scenery in the world. While trying to traverse from one side of the car to another and get the best shots as quickly as he could, the father stumbled over a young boy, sitting in an aisle playing with a game-boy of all things. While that might not have seemed so rare in any other environment, playing a game-boy in the middle of some of the most beautiful sights imaginable seems very odd indeed. The boy’s head was down and seemingly he couldn’t have cared less about all that was glorious all around him. That this little boy would be oblivious to his surroundings and the grandeur of that place, concentrating on a pocket game was deemed strange to the father as he stumbled up the aisle to get another snapshot.
It got me to thinking about how much of the human experience is so very much like that. The glory of God is declared all round and we find some way to spend most of our time playing ‘game-boy’. Have you noticed how much of the time we do not talk about, do not consider our relationship with, do not think about, do not subject our daily lives to the Creator of the universe, even though that Creator directly entered into the world and interrupted all creation to place this opportunity for each of us to spend time with, learn from and find the splendor of His world? I mean we have so many things, do so many things, waste time with so many things. Yet! What if it’s actually true that God wants to uniquely spend time with you?
Jane and I have had the pleasure of raising three daughters. From our perspective, we were intimately close to each. We gave each life, provided for them (in every way that our limited brains could provide). We cared for, hoped for, sacrificed for, hurt for, cried for, and imagined for each. At some level, Jane and I lived to protect and provide for each one. They were the center of our little universe. It was a given, we could not help ourselves. From the first moment of their birth, at their first breath, we were captured by an unconditional and irrational love for our girls. Our desire was to meet their every need. Now in human terms, I’m certain we made some mistakes. Some mistakes, because we did not perceive every situation that they would have to deal with and secondly, because we are these little human things ourselves, weak vessels of creation. Simply, we, being human, are incomplete in some ways. Said another way, we look at the world around us through the eyes of self! While motivated to do everything correctly raising our three daughters, I’m sure we missed the mark without meaning to do so. So, I’ve ‘fessed up’ to our weaknesses.
Now, as for their part in this story, they like all kids were programmed not to notice our love! I say that with a smile, because it seems so universal for children not to notice the love, the sacrifice, the dreams of the parent for the child. Yes, they played a lot of game-boy around us. (I don’t mean that literally but figuratively) and I don’t mean that it’s wrong for them to do that, it’s just a natural thing for kids to be like that. They didn’t see how much we cared and how much we loved. They didn’t know we were trying our best to do what was best for them. You know, they just thought we were ‘laying down the law’ just because we could. I know I missed that with my dad and mom times along the way and I’m pretty convinced that you were probably like that also. It seems so easy to not see how much we mean to them and mistakenly believe that they were just ‘having their own way’ with us.
With the successful launch of the Hubble telescope, the vastness of the known universe is some thirty million plus light years away. (The known universe is only what we can see; we don’t have a telescope that can see the vastness of the entire universe.) One single light year is the amount of time it takes a single beam of light to travel in one year’s time. Light travels at 186,000 miles per second. Light travels at 5.88 trillion miles each year. A single beam of light can travel around the earth 7 times in one second. Do the math! That means we can see out to 30 million light years away and we still can’t see the end of it! It’s huge, meaning He is huge! (Thanks to Louie Giglio and his Indescribable DVD for those facts)
The creation looks us in the face and declares ‘God’. The Pleiades mentioned in the book of Job (Job 9:8) has been discovered by modern telescopes to be 490 million miles away from earth. Yet God declared them to Job and has taken the time to name each star in the vast universe. The Bible says in Romans that the starry heaven should make obvious His hand. We have to work hard to imagine that the balance that exists between the stars, planets and this miniscule earth, moon and sun could have occurred without Divine intervention. We miss the grandeur of where we are because we prefer to ignore our obligation to Him and we concern ourselves with other things. We play game-boy in the middle of paradise. Not noticing what is obvious in our daily lives about the Love of God and His offer to us to be a companion to us, a lamp unto our feet to us, an unconditional love for us.
We do not have to do evil things to look the other way, just simply busy and wish ourselves away from the center of this creation, the Creator. We can do like we did as children, not notice that someone is taking care of us, rooting for us, hoping the best for us. We can not notice those things even when they are right before our very eyes if we would open them and look. It’s like flashing lights on a dark night, kind of hard to miss unless we try hard. Our daily grind can wear away the tenderness offered by God to each of us. The busy-ness can cause us to forget to look around us and see the hand of God in our daily experience. The search for things can distract us away from the search for meaning and purpose in our marriages, our work and our relationships with others.
The most recent space discovery, one of the furthest from earth, is of a galaxy called ‘X Structure’. Right in the middle of that galaxy is a center black space that is 31 million light years from earth. The shape of that black space is in the form of a Christian cross. Go figure! Stop playing that game-boy and look up, the heavens declare there is a God and the furthest thing from earth still bears the image of the Cross of Christ. ‘When I consider the heavens, the work of thy hands, the moon and the stars, which thou has ordained; what is man that thou are mindful of him…’ (Psalm 8: 3-4)