Editor's note: This is the latest installment of faith-based columns written by local pastors.
WORTHINGTON — Perhaps you’ve seen the video, or one like it, which begins with the camera focused on a person laying in a park and begins to zoom out. As the camera’s elevation increases, the entire park is seen, then the city the park is in becomes visible, and soon the person is totally invisible as the shape of North America and then the entire globe comes into the picture. But the zooming doesn’t stop there; the earth becomes smaller, becoming just a dot in the solar system, then the Milky Way, until ultimately our entire galaxy is seen as nothing more than a smudge in the vast universe. Our planet isn’t even in the center of our galaxy, much less the universe.
The idea being communicated is that you’re just a speck, an insignificant result of the happy accident that created life. In this mindset, your life goal is to just try to be the best speck you can be.
So how does God fit into this massive cosmos? For many, He doesn’t. For them the universe is way too big, way too old and way too unmanageable for an outdated concept like God. Even if He’s there, and even if somehow He was instrumental in creating the whole thing, why would He continue to care about billions of specks on a speck within a smudge that can’t seem to get along?
Yet many still do understand the logic that the universe requires an unmade maker. As big as the universe is, God must be bigger. This is certainly a better theology (the study of God), but the subtle flaw within it leads to a very flawed anthropology (the study of mankind). God may be bigger than the universe, but yet you and I remain mere specks on a speck.
Trying to compare God to the size of the universe is like trying to divide a number by zero. If it’s been a while since you learned about that in elementary school. Ask Siri to attempt it to be reminded of it’s impossibility; such an equation is undefinable. The Bible doesn’t picture God as being bigger than the universe, rather the Bible tells us of a God that’s separate from the universe. He can’t be described within our conventional space/time dimensions.
This is freeing knowledge for you. Our sinful instinct is to constantly compare ourselves to others in terms of size: the size of our home, our farm, our bank accounts, our boat, family, etc. Since you are created in the image of a God who is separate from all things, your value is not determined by things, or by your relative size and placement in the universe. Your value is cemented in the fact that the All Seeing, All Knowing, All Powerful Creator of all things bought you back and paid for you with the life of His Son.
Physically, we are but specks on a speck within a smudge. It’s good to remind ourselves of this reality. But your true value is undefinable by this world’s terms. You and all those you interact with this week have infinite value because we are images of the One who is above all things.