We Are But Dust...
There seems to be a lot of talk about the show Cosmos on Fox these days. Fortunately for my mental state, I do not have cable television (just Roku on which I mainly watch Netflix), but out of curiosity I started watching episode one online. If you’ve read my blog in the past, you know I have a real interest in astronomy. Unlike scientists though, my interest and limited exploration/knowledge of it doesn’t inflate my ego — it deflates it. The scope and grandeur of the universe leaves me feeling simple and small. The first thing I noticed about Cosmos was that it seemed to want to show just how smart we humans are. Look what we’ve figured out! We’ve got this god-like thing called science that can tell us everything we need to know when we test, experiment, and observe. Look how far we’ve come and how far we’re going in the future! Sorry guys, but it didn’t work for me.
I admit that I didn’t watch the entire episode. I turned it off after a very spectacular and insightful visual. The camera somehow took viewers through myriads of solar systems — each one looking like specks of nothingness in the black abyss. At one point the camera stopped for a moment to point out which dot was our solar system — not even the earth — the entire solar system. There it was — a grain of sand — the Milky Way. Unbelievable. That was enough for me because, call me cynical, I don’t believe that anyone on that grain knows a whole hell of a lot about anything. Believe it or not, Oh Great and Powerful Science, there is a power much greater than yourself .
What I found perhaps even more fascinating was that on this tiniest of dots in the universe — we live in the incomprehensible vastness of it all with minds that are so intricately programmed so as to seek upward and outward. Why?? How?? Our minds really are pretty powerful when you look at the big picture (not as powerful as science would like us to think, but still pretty darn good!). It’s amazing! Not only are we here on this crumb with bodies that are designed greater than any fine-tuned machine made by man, but we have these computers in our heads that came out long before Windows 95! Additionally, we have spiritual beings (currently undetected by infrared or any other scientific gadget!) that long for something more than any person, place, or thing on our particle of dust can give us. Yet Cosmos wants me to believe that we’ve got it all covered because we see that we are but dust in the midst of more dust. What am I missing??
What keeps coming to my mind since watching the show is the Dr. Seuss book “Horton Hears a Who.” Horton the elephant hears a cry from a speck of dust on a clover which turns out to be home to a whole community of people. Horton does his best to protect the speck because his neighbors don’t believe that anything lives on it. They become quite arrogant and nasty, and they try to destroy the dust and Horton in the process. Horton protects the dust until he can finally prove the existence of the Whos in Whoville who live on the dust. Science would've killed the darn thing by pulling it apart and placing it under a microscope. Finally they all heard the voices of the people, and they believed.
There is a God — currently invisible to the naked eye. Some of us carry Him around (like Horton) and try to protect Him from an arrogant world of non-believers who refuse to trust what they cannot observe, what they cannot test on our speck of dust. They do their best to hush up the people who hear Him and to try to destroy anything that we point to as proof because they themselves cannot hear. Horton persisted and so must we because in the great scheme of things we are but dust carried on a clover ourselves by God who is protecting us despite the arrogance.
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