Msgr Pope ping
We ARE big, compared to an electron. I read somewhere that the size of the human body compared to a proton, neutron, or electron, is about midway between the size of the human body and the size of the universe.
That is quite good.
That is quite good.
And the Milky Way galaxy, so huge to us as to be nearly incomprehensible, is but one of an estimated 200 billion galaxies.
This makes me recall an interview I heard years ago with Goldie Hawn, don’t ask! In it, she stated that what her Dad taught her was when she felt ‘too big for her britches’ to go stand at the ocean and realize how small she really is.
The funny part is my Dad heard it as well and his reaction;
‘why wouldn’t her tell her to just look UP!’
Never ever forgot that :)
It is an astonishing thing that even though the shuttle is passing over highly populated areas there is no visual evidence that we even exist. No cities or buildings are visible; no planes streak through the skies; even large scale agricultural features seem lacking. There is only one mention of a color difference across the Great Salt Lake, and that is due to a railroad bridge preventing circulation. But the bridge is in no way visible, only its effect.
We think of ourselves as so big, so impressive. And yet even in low Earth orbit, we cannot be seen. It is true that at night our cities light the view, but during the day next to nothing says we are here. Even the magnified picture on my 30? iMac screen shows no evidence of us below.
And having viewed the video, I think of Psalm 8.
Astronomers tell us that our galaxy, the Milky Way, has over three billion stars, that it is one thousand light years deep, that it is one hundred thousand light years across. One light year is the speed of light (one hundred and eighty-six thousand miles per second) multiplied by every second in one year. They also say that there are one hundred billion galaxies in our universe. These figures are incomprehensible to us, but they proclaim a God of immeasurable glory and immensity, One who fills up every inch of his creation with his omnipresence, omnipotence, and omniscience....Here's a picture that I'd like to get fixed in everyone's mind.
....The grand declaration, that God created all things out of nothing (Genesis 1:1, John 1:1-3, Acts 17:24, Romans 1:20, Hebrews 11:3) is the most profound and far reaching statement in all of Scripture. It says volumes about God. It tells us that he is self-existent (Isaiah 45:5ff), incomprehensible (Romans 11:33), and sovereign (Psalm 115:3). He does not need us. He was not lonely. He was perfectly content and fulfilled by his Triune fellowship. He does not enhance his being by condescending to our helplessness. We are unable ever to mine the depths of his wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, or truth. He does as he pleases. He foreordains everything that comes to pass. There are no mistakes, no accidents. Nothing catches him by surprise. Our problems stem from an inadequate view of God. Our thinking about God tends to be far too small.
-- from the thread Creatio Ex Nihilo
First, I'd like to give everyone a sense of the overall size of the (known) universe. One quick way to do this is to look at National Geographic's map of the universe. You can get a really big version of it here, but here it is, small-sized:
Second, I'd like everyone to open their Bibles to Isaiah 40:12a. Here's how the NIV reads:
Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens?"Set your mind on that last part. The KJV and most modern translations use the term span, where the above says breadth. Either term works, but "span" is useful here because it can be defined as the distance across the outstretched hand, from the tip of the thumb to the tip of the pinky. Take a look and see what that distance is across your own hand - around eight or nine inches, I'd guess. I've also seen "span" defined as the distance across the palm, or roughly four to five inches. Either measurement works for us here.
With the knowledge of the size of your hand still fresh in your head, go back and look at that National Geographic map again. And remember that the Bible equates the distance across the entire known universe with the distance across God's hand.
Once you go up in a tall apt. or office bldg. and look down, you can see how small and insignificant we little carbon units, scurrying about, really are.