The image stuns me.
What’s captured by a camera orbiting our earth fills me with wonder and awe.
And it’s just one galaxy. One part of one galaxy.
If you haven’t seen it yet, NASA released the largest photo by the Hubble Space Telescope yet at a whopping 1.3 gigapixels of a portion of the Andromeda galaxy.
This is from the page:
Though the galaxy is over 2 million light-years away, the Hubble Space Telescope is powerful enough to resolve individual stars in a 61,000-light-year-long stretch of the galaxy’s pancake-shaped disk. It’s like photographing a beach and resolving individual grains of sand. And there are lots of stars in this sweeping view — over 100 million, with some of them in thousands of star clusters seen embedded in the disk.
Over 100 million! Just in the one view captured by the lens of Hubble. Really, if this fact alone doesn’t just make you smile in wonder at what’s out there, I have no idea what might move your heart and mind to appreciate the vastness of our universe.
And this video does a pretty good job giving more detail to the photo and how many stars there are.
My journey toward God began as I stared out a third story skylight window on the east of of Portland, Maine. It was his voice telling me, “I’m out there. And there’s more to this life you know.”
At the time I didn’t know him and therefore didn’t know the voice. The best way I know how to share what was in my brain at the time is with the word “conviction.”
Conviction (noun): a firmly held belief or opinion; the quality of showing that one is firmly convinced of what one believes or says.
And that’s what planted itself in my teenage mind around the age of 16 or 17. But to put words to it was difficult. Nor did I act on it by asking older and wiser people questions. It was very much silent and private for me.
Conviction From the Math
Part of it was just math, logic and deduction: if there are billions upon billions of galaxies out there and each of those galaxies contain billions and billions of stars then there’s bound to be life out there somewhere! I came to the conclusion it made perfect sense to hold such belief.
To this day when I contemplate the universe and all the stars I come to the very same conclusion. Only now I know who made the stars and galaxies. I know that one day we humans will go exploring out there in the star systems an distant galaxies.
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. (Ecclesiastes 3:11)
Conviction of Life
There have been flashes of moments since I have become a believer when I hear a voice that says, “Come on. Really? You’re going to believe in a life beyond this planet? Beyond the grave? Makes no sense.”
Fortunately, they have only been small very brief flashes of doubt and they do not rule my continued conviction of the shortness of this life and eternal weight of the next one.
I believe I was born to know God personally, to become a Christ-follower. It was my destiny. When the moment came and the pastor offered an invitation to be baptized after learning more in a few short weeks than my whole life — it made perfect sense!
Please, watch the video take a close look at the photo and be in wonder at the Creation that awaits us. While it’s 2 million light years away now, we will get to visit it up close and personal in the not-to-distant future.
Now that is peaceful thought!
I’m Wondering: If you’re a believer, what convictions keep you believing?