Thursday, 23 December 2010
One of my favorite parts of the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy (the series by Douglas Adams, not the movie) is a wonderful torture machine called the Total Perspective Vortex. Essentially what the machine does is give the unfortunate subject a brief look at the entire infinite expanse of the universe (through virtual reality). Now that wouldn't be so bad except that there is a tiny little dot upon an equally insignificant dot with the label "You are here." Allegedly the only person to leave with his brain intact was Zaphod Beeblebrox (but there were extenuating circumstances).
I'm sure you are wondering why I am explaining all of this fictional machinery to you. Well, today in my Bible class we talked about various things involving our perspective of God's redemptive story. One of the questions asked was something like this: How does knowing that you are not the main character in the story of the universe, and the fact that it is up to God rather than you to make the world turn make you feel?
My initial response was, "um, duh." As a big picture person it has never really entered my mind that the world is meant for me or that I must be responsible for keeping the world spinning around the sun. (Don't get the idea that I'm humble or anything, I'm one of the biggest egoists of our day and age most likely. I'm just realistic.) The question seemed borderline idiotic to me. Of course I realize that not everyone sees the world through my eyes, but I just assumed most people are aware of the fact that the world does not revolve around them by the time they are twenty (give or take a year or two).
Given more time to think over what was said though, I realized that there is a strange sort of comfort in the idea even if I was already aware of the basic premise behind it. On a deeper level it made me think that if you showed the average person the infinite universe and pointed out the insignificant dot that can't even be seen with the naked eye that is them, their brains would probably be dribbling out of their ears.
But if you showed it to me with the knowledge that God created it and that I am part of his story for that universe (even if I am just a poor little red shirt) then I might just walk out of there with my brain safely whole within my head (or at least as whole as it was when I went in).
You have a place in the universe. It is tiny, microscopic even. Therefore, rest easy in the fact that the universe's fate could not possibly rest on a dot that small. You are that tiny dot for a purpose. A supporting character in God's story.
Do you feel sometimes like you don't have a place in the world? How does having a role to play in God's story give you purpose?