An astronomical event took place yesterday: I am talking of course about Venus’ transit across the sun. Sadly I was not able to see this event in person, mostly because I didn’t have industrial-grade sunglasses and because I value my continued ability to see, which I am told staring directly at the sun can impact very negatively. Thanks to the marvel of Youtube though, I was able to watch it with my retinas largely intact.
The thing that most struck me about Venus’ transit was the sheer size of the Sun compared to Venus. I know that the Sun and Venus are not really to scale in this photo, but the impact remains the same: Venus is extremely tiny compared to that giant ball of exploding gas. And then the sobering fact hits you that Earth is practically the same size as Venus, which means that Earth, our home, is that small as well. A world that seems infinitely huge to us, is really, very, very tiny. And thats nothing. From what science fiction movies and the Discovery Channel have told me (those are my major sources for astronomical data) the sun is actually pretty small compared to some of the other much bigger stars in the universe. Which means that not only is the Earth seemingly insignificant compared to the Sun, its a speck of dust compared to other, bigger stars.
If Earth is so tiny, so seemingly insignificant in comparison to the rest of the universe, why would the Creator God care about it? That would be like a human caring for an atom among millions of other atoms. Or an elephant caring for a speck of dust among millions of other specks of dust.
It doesn’t make any real sense. But then again, when we see how the biblical writers talk about God, the point is that he doesn’t really make any sense. In a culture that valued power, prestige, and wealth (not at all like our own culture) we see the Creator God choose the most unlikely people to bring about his plans for creation. An old man and his barren, elderly wife from Ur. A group of slaves in Egypt. A young shepherd boy with a slingshot. A little baby, born in the back room of the ancestral home in a backwater village, all because the family was ashamed of the young mother for seemingly having an illegitimate child out of wedlock. If the Bible is any indication, it is the tiny and the insignificant that God takes particular interest in.
So, with the universe being infinitely massive, with celestial bodies thousands, even millions of times larger than our little blue marble, why on Earth would God take any interest in Earth? I don’t know, but God’s M.O. seems to be that he works his plans out through the tiniest, most insignificant of people and places. But that would be absurd right? Like an elephant caring for a single speck of dust among millions of other specks. Actually maybe its not that crazy after all. Maybe Dr. Seuss was a theologian and didn’t even know it.