Between California and Texas there is a lot of open space. A lot of land and not so many people. A lot of land and a road that goes on forever. Towns are few. Cities fewer. As I travel it I wonder who lives there. How do they make a life in such vast desert?
The desert has its own kind of beauty. I’ve always loved cactus. Its raw ability to survive in a hostile environment captures my interest. I was hoping to see fields of saguaro as I drove through the desert, but saw actually very few. It may be because I drove through that part of the desert at night. On this trip I was moving my son back to Texas. When you are not traveling in leisure you don’t get to stop and explore. So I didn’t take my camera nor stop to find interesting things. Yet, still I longed to see more than long stretches of open land.
For some, open land means freedom. No one is there to fence you in. In the city, everyone presses for every little space. Out in the open space you can feel the openness of life. Perhaps this is why some prefer living in the country.
As I contemplated all the open space, it occurred to me there is yet more open space than what my eyes beheld and my seat endured. If you think of outer space, it is open space to the max. Even though there are billions upon billions of suns, planets, asteroids and rocks, much of it is just open space. As I was driving along I began to imagine what God is like. God, who for His own pleasure made all this space. For God, it has a purpose only He can define. For us, its vastness reveals our weakness, our limitation. It defines us as being infinitely small. We are small compared to this greatness which reveals God’s greatness. We cannot traverse this open space so easily. We can fly over our great Southwest in a few hours, but it takes days to drive it. And outer space is out of the question. We can only look at distant images from the Hubble Telescope. Those images show such vastness we can hardly comprehend what is there. If you could travel to the edge of our solar system and look back at earth, you couldn’t find it. We’d be hardly a speck in the vast black ocean of space. Can you hear the Psalmist asking: Who is man that you (God) should think about him?
That we should be considered as anything at all is incredible when there is so much else on the universe.
And should we follow the atheist who claim all this space has no mind to give it meaning, that the very idea of God is just the imagination of the uneducated mind? My question is: Why should their idea be better than any other idea that comes out of a human mind? What egotistical arrogance. We are being told that nothing can be real except it gets passed by some “scientists” who have already limited the parameters of truth to that which they can accept. The result of their view of life without God is that your life has no meaning, no purpose but to end in a circle of life and death, where all your life ends in a pile of dust and nothingness.
Yet God, who has made us in His image and sent His Son to redeem us, gives us real value. We are made with purpose and we are loved. We are loved by incredible love, love which will not let us go. We may feel all alone in the empty space on a lonely road, but we can talk to God, we can sense his presence and we can be loved. Besides, if you have ever experienced Jesus personally, and I have, you know it is more than a debate about ideas.