I received the most beautiful gift just now! I was coming home from work, walking out to my car, and looked up. What an amazing display of aurora! It was faint across most of the sky, with the stars in the background, but then as I turned around, I saw a wonderful bright band towards the west–a ribbon of dancing, shimmering energy! Wow! I know, I shouldn’t be this excited; I’ve seen displays like this before, but it takes my breath away every time! I was mesmerized, and wanted it to never end.
Seeing the awesomeness of the northern lights reminds me of God–how can it not? It is so amazing, awe-inspiring… I am at a loss for words! I just start trying to think up more synonyms for “awesome.” I guess that’s what God’s power is like–awesome beyond words! He created the universe, and although it is unimaginably vast, he’s found in every part of it… so huge, yet found in the smallest snowflake or tiny amoeba. There is order throughout all of nature (although it might look chaotic on the surface), and that’s a clue about his nature and power, too, I think. Very orderly, yet with lots of room for creativity and unstructured beauty. It’s interesting how so many things are symmetrical, like basically all flowers and animals, but also things like matter and anti-matter (and many other particles), and the galaxy, although not perfectly so. The solar system isn’t really symmetrical, since all the bigger planets are farther away… but when you learn some planetary dynamics, and how solar systems are formed, then it makes sense too. So, much of his creation is nice and orderly.
And then there’s us humans. We aren’t very orderly (although at least we are symmetrical). :) We are mean when we should be kind, thoughtless when we should be attentive, blunt when we should use tact… We don’t seem to be very good examples of God’s nature at all, do we!! Well, there’s a reason for that! For all God’s power, there is just one thing he cannot do: He cannot interfere with the free will he’s given us. That’s what makes us different from most of his other creations (the jury’s still out on Chimpanzees and cats). He can break any other law he wants, the laws he created, like the laws of physics, or chemistry (although he doesn’t do that terribly often), but he cannot break the law of free will. We can choose to do whatever we want–to be whatever we want. If we’ve chosen to be miserable, God cannot make us happy. To force happiness on us would take away our free will, and that’s simply impossible, even for a second. If we want to be happy deep down inside but don’t know how, that’s different! That he can help us with, because he sees our hearts, our deepest desires, our unspoken needs. But that’s getting into his omniscience, and that’s a topic for another day! So, we should take this gift of free will seriously and be careful about what we choose!
Hope you’re enjoying my “ideas about God” series!
P.S. I usually try to post only pictures that I have taken, but I don’t have any of the northern lights. Not yet… The pic below is from NOAA POES satellite (http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/pmap/) showing areas of intense electrical activity in the atmosphere! Red is most intense, and this view from space, generated by many satellite passes, is superimposed on a map of Earth. It’s pretty easy to see Great Bear and Great Slave Lakes, and of course, I’m not that far from Great Slave. Overall activity today is 8 out of 10!