Even when we behold the most attentively the magnificence of the universe we still remain unable to grasp its truth. Even if we could be sent to its furthest destinations, and plunged into other galaxies at the maximum warp, we would still remain under the veil of ignorance. Our senses are not sharp enough, and our scientific sight is inadequate. We see only “through a glass, darkly”.
We live in the quarantine universe with time and space bent in such a way as to project to us an altered reality. All our perceptions about the depth of space and lengths of time, even when enhanced by the latest scientific theories, hypotheses and desperate longings to discover some traces of life out there are only tricky illusions. We live in a dark cave in which flickering lights of the distant stars are confusing our senses. We do not see the things of the universe as they are.
A brief metaphor will suffice here. The other day I was taking my morning walk in a new, uncharted area. After walking for about 40 minutes along the trail that looked to me fairly straight, I decided to walk back the same route. I wanted to get back to my parked car on time to reach another scheduled appointment. Just in case I looked into my GPS to see the path and the distance I’ve already taken. To my surprise I realized I’ve been walking on a constantly curving trail. I have in fact already walked the two thirds of my planned distance not knowing that I was already well on my way back to the car.
We do not really know how far are the distant objects in the universe from us or if they are not far at all. Our truth of the universe is gained more from the wistful thinking delivered to us by fictional Darwinian movies such as Star Wars and Star Trek, and desire to avoid seeing God’s hand in the universe at all costs. This we see our universe as a cold, gigantic enemy to be discovered, conquered, claimed as we dream of bringing evolution under our management.
But once upon a time the cosmos was not our enemy, space and time were not our prisons, the eons of light years did not mislead us, and black holes did not radiate mystery. We became locked into the time and space container the moment we were escorted out of the Garden of Eden. And not even the most extravagant space exploration budget will change that. We can fantasize as much as we would like about finding our own truth out there “where no one has gone before”, we will never leave the threshold of our starry neighborhood even if our hands stretch beyond our solar system.
Our physical universe, regardless of how spacious and impressive it appears with its distant galaxies, is only a vast looking chamber when beheld from within, and only a small room when looked at from without, locked securely in the palace of God’s garden. And no amount of science, no breakthrough technology, no matter the growing sophistication of AI toys, and no breathtaking height of the Tower of Babel will make the arrogant and the foolish break through the door of the chamber. We do not have what it takes to make the walls of our prison fall down.
This is what the rebellion against the Creator has done. This is what sin is all about. When the gates of the Garden of Eden were shut, and our great-great-great-grandparents exported out of the garden, we lost much more than a few conveniences. We were locked in a bubble, chained by altered reality, and enslaved within time and space alternations for our own safety.
But there is a key that unlocks the bubble, and it is not the latest trans-human toy, nor the most advanced quantum computer. It is Someone so many of us are so eager to dismiss – Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the King of kings, the Lord of lords. He is coming back to open the gates of the Garden of Eden, to unlock the Heavens, and to unbolt the quarantine that holds us prisoners, and let the universe become a friendly home to all God’s children again, as it was in the days of innocence of God’s creation.
“The heavens receded like a scroll being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place.” Revelation 6:14. NIV “Then I saw ‘a new heaven and a new earth,’ for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away.” Revelation 21:1. NIV
Let’s trust His promise rather than our own fragile sight.