Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Thin Layer

This is a NASA handout shot from the International Space Station as Atlantis re-entered the earth’s atmosphere on her last journey.  I want to call your attention to that thin, oh so very thin, visible atmosphere.  Consider the size of the earth, based on this small view through the window.  Between the surface and the blackness of space is that thin greenish line that means the difference between life – and the lack thereof.

I haven’t found an explanation of how high that thin line is.  A definition includes:
Strictly speaking, there is no such thing as an end to Earth's atmosphere: An atmosphere does not technically end at any given height, but becomes progressively thinner with altitude.
However, it is much below that thin line that mankind exists without technical assistance.  Keep that in mind when reading the December, 2009, issue of National Geographic (amazing what’s on doctors' waiting room tables) by Timothy Ferris as he writes about the number of earth-like planets waiting to be found:
We believe that billions of such worlds must exist and that they hold the promise of expanding not only the scope of human knowledge but also the richness of the human imagination.
His belief is based on scientific papers published after years of study. Yet the sentence shows a similarity to the faith spoken of by the religious.  We “believe”, and what we believe “must” exist.  We extrapolate from what is known, what has been seen, what we have done ourselves.

The difference (to me) is, I can accept Ferris’ hypothesis that billions of other worlds exist and that living organisms may inhabit them.  Many cannot accept my own hypothesis that God created this vast universe and has interacted with mankind – a personal God.

No, I do not know why I’ve recently blogged on this premise.  I could say that God inspired it, but it could be just the simple explanation that when you notice one yellow car, you’ll see dozens within a short time afterwards.  It may just be on my mind.

I do find it fascinating to see our earth from space. It is a beautiful planet.  We don’t see the litter, the battlefields, the boundaries defined by men through which others cannot cross.  Well, except for the Great Wall of China, which can be seen from space. 

The night photographs, showing the lights we use to keep going past the close of day, show delineations unseen elsewhere.  Those show how we’ve clustered together.  Well, most of us.  You won’t find our lights in the night photos, we’re twenty miles from cities of 5,000 or less, and we have no security lights on the acreage.  We like looking at the night skies.

What does that have to do with a devotional?  I find it in the Bible.

What is man, that thou shouldest magnify him? and that thou shouldest set thine heart upon him? (Job 7:17 KJV)

What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? (Psalms 8:4 KJV)

LORD, what is man, that thou takest knowledge of him! or the son of man, that thou makest account of him! (Psalms 144:3 KJV)

Seeing there be many things that increase vanity, what is man the better? For who knoweth what is good for man in this life, all the days of his vain life which he spendeth as a shadow? for who can tell a man what shall be after him under the sun? (Ecclesiastes 6:11-12 KJV)

What is man?  Man is what God loves.

We love him, because he first loved us. (1 John 4:19 KJV)

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