Thursday, June 21, 2012

When Jesus Returns, Will You He Find You Where He Left You?

"...look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption 
draweth nigh." Luke 21:28

I often find it respectfully--and quietly--humorous when my religious friends point upward as they speak of heaven or when they talk of the direction from which their particular savior god will supposedly return. Upward. And then, downward to suggest the place where the bad people and their demonic leader will be imprisoned. Wow. What the heck does that even mean? Granted, the terms would be quite meaningful, say, in the 15th century. But we now know there really is no 'up' or 'down' in terms of the location of our planet or solar system.

Consider these interesting little numbers...

The earth is spinning on its axis at about 1000 miles per hour, give or take. One full spin, about 24 hours' worth, and you have an earth day. Then, the earth is also traveling around the sun. She's about 93 million miles out from the sun's surface and travels around it for nearly 600 million miles, making one earth year. Around 1.65 million miles per day. Pretty fast, don't you think?

What about the sun itself? It's particular location in the galaxy is spinning around the galactic center at close to 483 thousand miles per hour, taking nearly 225 million years to make one full orbit around that center. (Science believes our sun, during its existence, has made about 20 trips around the galaxy.)

Here's the best part. Our galaxy, the Milky Way, is moving through space at around 1.3 million miles per hour. (Don't ask me how they figure that. I read the stuff but it was 'way over my head.)

So, what does all this mean? Simply, in any given second, we are hundreds of thousands, even millions of miles from where we were in the second before. We are literally shooting through space so fast that where we were yesterday is so far behind us, we can't even mentally consider the distance without someone steeped in such things to do the calculations. And then, only approximate ones.

Enter Jesus...

I'm wondering where Jesus is waiting to jump on board, to return as many think he will, for this thing they call The Rapture. How far out in heavenly space does he have to be in order to meet us when we get there? And then, how quickly will he have to move to land here before we're a million miles further out? I heard it once said that if Jesus ascended to heaven after his resurrection in the year 33 CE, traveling at the fastest known speed in the universe, the speed of light, he would still be only half way to the known edge of said universe. Which means that even if he turned around right now and headed back, it would take another two thousand years. Satire, of course, but still...

Silly? Maybe, but the main point is this: Everything is moving so fast and in many cases, so randomly, that the original religious idea of everything be firm, in one place under heaven, is too weird to consider now. The true source of the universe, it appears, is much more creative, more imaginative, more playful than any defined or quoted deity could ever be. And in all this incredible creation, why would the source of it be so fixed on this one little dot, this one little planet, that it would get so angry at times because the highest creatures on that planet aren't good little soldiers, obeying ancient rules and laws and regulations that are claimed to be direct revelation from said source? Turns out, it isn't. Lots of wild creative energy, but no anger.

What then, do we trust?

If I trust anything, I trust the mystery that brought this process into being. I couldn't have done it better if I'd thought of it myself. And as we probe, as we discover, it turns out that in all its seeming complexity, with a bit of determination--and a lot of math--it's simpler than anyone could imagine. 

Plus, in order for the universe to appreciate itself, it produced you, it produced me, it produced all kinds of ways of experiencing its own grandeur. For that, I am grateful

Simple. Elegant. Beautiful. Fun. And quite possible, Living.

It's our home. Forever.

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