[From the archives.]
I heard a space scientist on the radio last week. He was saying that in space there is no up or down or left or right. One star appears to be right next to another, he explained, but they might really be hundreds – perhaps thousands – of light years apart. And in relation to one another, neither is higher or lower than the other. He said our vocabulary for spatial relations here on earth is inadequate to the task of understanding the spaces between the stars.
He tries to explain this to his students by telling them to see themselves here on earth and view the stars out there as being all around them, to look up at the stars above them and know that in the universe the relations between bodies is vast and wonderful.
It was that look up part that got me. In one sentence he was saying that there is no up or down, then he says he tells his student to look up at the stars above them. Even a scientist who has been studying the issue his entire career cannot find the words to explain what he means.
It’s like he was mimicking Paul trying to explain the nature of God …
Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! (Romans 11:33.)
… and God’s love for us.
And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:17-19.)
Unsearchable … beyond tracing out … surpassing knowledge.
You think explaining the universe is hard? Try explaining God.