What if someone knocked on your door with the news that your life’s work, everything you believed to be true, was confirmed? Would you let him in to show you the evidence?
The young scientist who has discovered the first tremors of the Big Bang – a light wave pattern which is evidence of gravitational waves from the birth of the universe – records the moment he shared the news with Professor Andre Linde, the orginator of the the Big Bang theory, and his wife.
Watch his (and her) reaction:
The look on his face, the understanding expression of his wife, the glee of the young man delivering the news. It’s palpable.
Like every good scientist Linde hesitates. “I hope it is not a trick.” And it adds credibility that these scientists respect the work enough never to jump to conclusions. But they hope. Oh, they hope. That what they have imagined is fulfilled here. That this is the remaining part of the story, the one piece missing. The “smoking gun” evidence to confirm and convict. It’s their ‘Oh my God, it’s true’ moment.
As a scientist and a Christian, I am overjoyed to see faith and science greet each other this way. The “how” of creation is completely satisfying, given the “who” of creation and the inconceivable nature of His power to create.
This moment, the moment of complete illumination when the final piece is placed, must be so satisfying. It just gives me a glimpse of what must happen each time Christ knocks and we answer. And that final time, when He ushers us to the heavenly Kingdom and opens the gate. Oh my God! All I hoped for but was afraid to believe, there it is! Let me step in, just to be sure.
I imagine that moment would look very like this one.
“When can you call on God?” we asked the young people in our confirmation class.
There was silence, and then a hesitant, “Anytime. He’s always there.”
“Yes!” my co-teacher said enthusiastically, “He’s an anytime, anywhere God.”
Other people might celebrate where this class discussion ended. And so might I, if this were a class of young children, but with a group of 8th graders, this response left me concerned. Yes, it was the “right” answer, the one she’d been taught in Sunday school, even the one that scripture offers, “I am with you always to the end of the age.” What had me worried was …when do we get around to doing what can be done anytime?
I know I respond best to deadlines and urgency. I belly up to the project that looms largest, the problem that screams loudest, or the news just in. The things that sit quietly – the ones that can be done anytime – tend to scroll down in my inbox. They can wait until I have more time or more energy. Often, they just get forgotten.
I wonder if this will be so for these young people and the God that is available to them 24-7. In their world where everything comes at them fast and demands an immediate answer, I worry that the God who is “there whenever we need Him” may be relegated to the “get to later” category. Then, when they are faced with a crisis, a real need, a tragedy – the stuff that intercedes in all our lives – will they recognize the God who is there with them?
God hasn’t set a deadline for us. He seems to tell us, come to Me in your own time. But I would so like these young people to invite Him in ahead of time, before they “need” Him. Into the deadlines and the urgency and the breaking news. Self-sufficiency is a good thing, but it shouldn’t be a lonely thing. God powered self-sufficiency…now that sounds like a dynamic conversation.
How do we move God from anytime to first thing?