As I was reading scripture this morning I started thinking about God and time and space. I was reading Leviticus and to be honest, my mind wandered off a bit. No coffee, no focus. My brain started darting around between images of the ocean, God and Bill Nye. It is easy understand why I would be thinking about the ocean as a relief from this Indiana winter. It is easy to understand why I am thinking about God- after all I was reading the Bible. Bill Nye, the science guy and regular contributor to the existence of God on the negative side. Why him? Stay with me. I'd seen him on some internet posting or video or whatever recently. I do not know where the information and images come from. Regardless, the ocean, God and Bill Nye are now occupying the part of my brain where my reading of Leviticus should have been.
If you go to the ocean and ask how big is it? What is in it? How was it made?- there are no complete answers regardless of the science we apply. I have only a tiny bit better understanding of the ocean than I do the universe, although both receive a lot of documentaries from the BBC and National Geographic. They are immense in scale and tiny in their details. Both are fascinating and also incomprehensible even as new information and theories are discovered and discussed. For me, among all of the things that God is to me, I would add; God is awe. The things that are indescribable in their beauty and complexity come from God and cause me awe.
Imagine - A child on a beach takes a big glass jar, dips it down into the water, takes the full jar out and sets in on the sand. A scientist comes along and cannot fathom all of what is unimaginably possible in an elemental body of water such as the ocean, but the scientist can see the jar. The scientist knows the water of the ocean is in the jar. Ah-ha! A jar has volume, weight, organisms and other characteristics. Study! That’s the scientist’s natural response - study, measure, hypothesize and test. The scientific method is not a bad thing or something to be criticized. Physics, medicine, engineering and the other STEM stuff- brilliant, beautiful and impactful. Go science!
The measures of time, distance and temperature are taken from that jar and represent the entire ocean. Why? Because it is all that the human mind can understand. It is all we put our arms around. It is all that we have - a peak into a glass jar. Many of us know that God's ways are not our ways. (Isaiah 55:8) I believe that is a short answer to a big question. The immensity of God's ways seen through the lens of our ways is another version of awe.
For many people, they have found their jar and the jar is now the measure of all things in the universe and outside of the universe. Bill Nye is right. If all you understand and can see is what is in the jar, then there are no mysteries, no infinity to space and dimensions, no timelessness....No God. You have all you need to know and may ever need to know- it’s all inside your jar. Your jar is in your hand. You hold the ocean in your hand as long as all there is in the ocean fits in your jar. Bill believes that all there is fits in his jar.