Monday, June 30, 2008

Heaven Observable

I see a lot of shooting stars. I consider myself lucky. Maybe it's just that I'm often riding my bike to work before the sun comes up.

One day last week found me riding to work in the dark through a sparsely wooded area near our home. I saw a "shooting star" that seemed larger and slower than usual. I was thinking how great it is to see shooting stars, and on this particular one when I noticed that it was quite cloudy, and none of the stars were visible. With it being so cloudy, what was the shooting star?

My first solution was that I had seen a UFO. It was early, but the UFO reaction is always short-lived (I sometimes want to leap to the supernatural explanation). About a second later I remembered that we live near an airport, and concluded that the UFO—shooting star—was probably just an everyday, ordinary airplane.

I chuckled to myself (and at myself) for the silly first thought of UFOs. Then, in my wonderings of why people believe strange things I concluded that most beliefs can be viewed as strange. In fact, I remembered a TED talk I had seen some time ago that seeks to answer why people believe strange things (link). This thirteen-minute talk includes some funny examples and ideas. However, the presenter does question intelligent design in comparison to science saying that miracles cannot be tested scientifically or used to explain anything. He would argue that faith, prayer, and answers to prayer aren't valid support; an example that my own beliefs can be viewed as strange!

Despite the perceived strangeness of belief, I'm grateful that the heavens are observable. This is not referring to shooting stars. Even on cloudy days, we have access to divine light and truths that are more spectacular and eternal than the fleeting view of dying shooting stars. I'm reminded of Alma's interchange with the doubting Korihor:

All things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator (Alma 30:44).

I know that God lives, but in addition, I know that He loves me.

I consider myself lucky.

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