Sunday, October 03, 2010

Do Telescopes Lie to Us?

        The other night we saw a full moon. Here’s what it looked like from Spokane in this photo taken by Carlene Hardt. (Double click to enlarge the photograph.)
        Every night when there’s a clear sky we see various stars overhead. Friends with telescopes see more details than we do. Beautiful sights are ours to view, if we take the time.
        Amazing photos are posted on the Internet by NASA. Their captions tell what kinds of telescopes were used to take the pictures from space. Is NASA lying to the general public? Do the telescopes lie?
        Bring up this colorful NASA photo on your computer screen and ponder the distances that NASA describes.
        If these are actual, true pictures taken of outer space, then we must acknowledge that such stars and planets really do exist, and they actually are that far away from us.

        If we concede that there’s more than the earth revolving in a huge place we call space or the universe or the cosmos, then we’ve taken a giant step towards honesty. If those huge spheres and clouds and matter are way, way out there, then something besides “us” is very important to consider. Stop fussing with the kids, the dishwasher, and the checkbook for a quiet time to evaluate what “life” really is.
        Since scientists have not found any kind of life yet on any of those worlds out there, then for sure we need to get serious about the idea of creation and Creator and life and death. We are unique; our Earth is unique.
        Why is it so difficult to mentally accept the idea that there is a Creator? Isn’t ignoring that idea sort of irresponsible? Who cares more about your own life than you do? Isn’t it a worthwhile expenditure of a little of your time and energy and ego to get serious about the Big Picture?
        Actually, going back years into the history of mankind thinking people have puzzled about life and death. To be on the cautious side many tribes of people accepted the ideas of some of their wisest leaders and made carved figures of gods to worship.
        That notion of praying to statues, trees, bushes, and dead people bothers many ordinary people today. While philosophers have pondered a lot of interesting facets of life and behavior some of them refuse to acknowledge a God, which in effect elevates mankind to a position of being their own god.
        Do you see the foolishness of ignoring this controversy? Can you postpone your own demise endlessly? Can you bring yourself back to life as a different creature or person? Or, can you see the satisfying simplicity of acknowledging your Creator, asking God for forgiveness for your selfish or careless or heartless behavior?
        What about Jesus don’t you like? He came, lived a sinless life, died for your sins and mine, and promises to give us eternal life in Heaven if we ask Him. What’s so disagreeable about that?
        “But some people believe one thing and others believe something else?” you might complain. Well, that’s verifiable. But is that a sufficient reason for you to not look into the matter yourself? There’s not going to be 100% agreement on this subject because you can see there’s not 100% agreement on how to even live a good life. But you deserve peace of mind. . .
        Take an open-minded look at the first few pages of the Bible. Read it. If that works for you, then open it up to the middle and read a few pages there. See what your heart tells you. + + +

by Elaine Hardt ©2010