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Star struck

I am not by any stretch of the imagination a scientist. At times, I wish I were so I could talk a little more intelligently on such issues as creation, evolution and the universe. I do have a proclivity towards certain Sci-Fi movies such as “Star Wars,” “Star Trek” and “The Matrix”— so there’s that. And, I went through a phase with some of my roommates in college to see if we could collect bodily expulsions of a gaseous nature in a mason jar with a sealed lid and release them when someone was over visiting, so I guess you could say I’ve got an experimental side. But my mind has very little value in the overall scientific realm.

However, my wife has a relative who would widely be considered a world-class scientist in the realm of astronomy. He is incredibly accomplished in his specific field of eclipsing binary stars and is the longest tenured staff member of the university at which he teaches. The observatory at the university is even named after him.

It is amazing to be around this man and to realize the amount of information that his brain possesses is simply astounding. He has presented at global conferences, authored a book, written computer software used around the world, and yet, he’s one of the most humble men that I know. Yes, he has his nerdy side, as any good scientist should. But when we’re together with him, he is far more interested in my pursuits, the health of our family unit and the state of the church that I am pastoring than any of the universal endeavors that he is chasing. As I have been deeply impacted by his love for us, I have also learned much from him over our time together.

One of the things that I have learned from this man is that God is awesome! We say that and think it often, but do we truly believe it?

Do you realize that the axial tilt of the earth is 23.5 degrees? If the earth were aligned straight up and down, the equator would be torched and Canada and Russia would be frozen solid? However, it is at just the proper angle for the maximum amount of life to flourish on our planet.

Do you know that if you hold up an arm straight in front of you with your finger extended to the sky and place a grain of sand on the tip of your finger, at nighttime, the view that lies behind that single grain of sand would contain approximately 10,000 galaxies? Not stars, galaxies! To put it another way, there are more stars in the known universe than there are grains of sand on the entire earth.

And the examples could go on, but the idea is simple: the universe is larger than you and I can possibly fathom. Did it all occur by accident? Or did an awesome Creator design it?

I cannot tell you what to believe, but I can inform you that I believe what is written in the Scriptures to be true — that God created everything. If this is true, then even in the midst of the unfathomable realm of the known universe, you are not an accident. You were created with a purpose. You are uniquely gifted and talented for a reason — even during the times when you may not feel like it. You are loved beyond your imagination.

If it is not true, then you are an accident and, by default, so is everything else in your life.

Which do you choose to believe and why?

When Jesus told us that the greatest commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength; and to love your neighbor as yourself, he was telling you and I the best way to live. He was telling us the way to fulfill our God-given purpose — the way to best maximize your life. Do you believe it? Do you live it?

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Finding Faith is written by area pastors. This week’s column comes from Rev. Scott Garman, pastor of Cedar Heights Brethren in Christ Church in Mill Hall.

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