Let There Be Light!

I’ve always been interested in Astronomy, but I’ve never spent enough time on it other than stargazing and finding certain constellations and planets.

Of late, NASA has been discovering a lot more about the Universe, mainly through the Hubble Telescope Project, and other deep-sky science missions.

To put things in context:

  • We live in a planet that’s part of our solar system,
  • Our solar system is one of many in our galaxy,
  • Our galaxy is called The Milky Way, and it is one of 100’s of billions other galaxies.

It’s worth me pausing for a bit. So the stars that I see at night (beautiful views in rural North West where there is little light pollution) are only what’s in our galaxy? And astronomers believe that there are/were 100s of billions more?

Light

I didn’t have the fortune to study Physical Sciences in school, so I rely on reading to satisfy my curiousity. I learnt about the speed of light as a kid, mainly that it’s the fastest observed speed, and the cool trick of estimating how far lightning struck by counting the seconds-to-thundering from seconds-to-light.
I learnt the concept of light-years much later as a teen. If the sun’s light takes 8 minutes to reach the Earth, then the sun is 8 light-minutes away.

It is said that most of the stars in our galaxy (Milky Way) are light-years away, some thousands thereof. So if you look at Orion, the stars making up that constellation are between 200 and 1’400 light-years away. If their light has taken at least 200 years to reach us, then how old is Orion? Does Orion still exist today? Does the Universe still exist today?

A logical answer is “yes” to the latter, because since at least the Sun still exists, then surely the Universe hasn’t gone anywhere, or is it just the Milky Way, or maybe just our solar system and nearby planets …

Time

So light isn’t all-mighty, it’s still subject to time. If the fastest known subject/matter to mankind isn’t beyond Time, then what is? Dark matter or anti-matter? It has to be slower by logic, and the preceding link says “cold” dark matter moves at < 100 meters per second. Light moves at ~300’000km per second.

So is there anything mightier than light? Surely the only mightier has to be whomever created light! Many people obsess over theorising how existence came to being. “It all started in a big bang” they say. A bang of what?

I think it’s safe to say that no matter your theory on how things came to be, be it Creation or Evolution; we can agree that there must have been some Event that started everything. Christians/Jews are told that everything came to be through the Spoken Word of God. I disclaim that I fall in that camp of belief. I don’t know enough about other religions, but I know that some scientists generally choose to believe in this unexplainable Big Bang, which is fine.

Who or what then created Time? A marvel so accurate (let’s overlook the leap-seconds) that creation follows it beautifully! I get a tingle in my mind when I think of:

  • seasons,
  • the chain of roosters that generally crow from the top of the hour,
  • how Earth rotates in 24 hours (this is where the leap-second comes),
  • how Earth orbits the sun in 365.25 days, etc.

Now this is what we know about Time. We have 7 days, and these play very nicely with the lunar calendar. Ever wondered how things would be if there were actually 8 days, or 9? Probably a bit chaotic, but I’m not an expert.

Subject to Time

Everything I can think of is subject to time, at varying relativity. Going back to Orion, scientists say that planets die. Is poor Orion dead or still alive? Let’s take The Centurion, constellation Centaurus. Proxima Centauri is only 4 light-years away from us. In August 2016, a planet similar to Earth was discovered in Proxima’s orbit. It could still take millennia to reach that planet. No manned mission to the planet could be sustained, the 10th generation would probably forget where they were going and just die in space!

Even if we were to send some communication to that Planet, by the time it reaches it, there might be no life form to receive such comms. Proxima might be dead by then, or other things as we know them now changed completely.

I digress, but I’m faintly trying to make the point to myself that everything is subject to Time. People obsess about alien life, what’s the use? It’s very likely that such life (will) exist(ed/s). Pure probability would suggest such existence. What I do think though (with future potential humble pie in my mind) is that our generation will die without having seen intellectual alien lifeWhere there is water, there is life, so I don’t doubt the existence of some organisms elsewhere in the Universe. Our very Plankton in the oceans, bacteria, microbes and nanobes could have cousins even in our Solar System as a start.

I can’t think of anything that’s not subject to time. The Universe itself, or rather its galaxies, is subject to time. I read an article on nasa.gov about Hubble revealing 10 times more galaxies than previously thought. The article left me with a weird feeling in my mind, which was why I wrote this long piece. The thing that stood out for me was the mishmash of present and past tense when explaining these galaxies.

Remember that we’re mostly seeing things as they were before humans even existed.

The article explains that these galaxies have changed over time. Expanded or merged. Everything is subject to Time.

Is time subject to anything? Surely only its Creator!

What is my point?

I expect that there’ll be an Atheist who comes across this article, maybe because of its title. I’ve shied away from scriptures so far, so if one takes offense, they ought to take offense with the tooth fairy and Santa Claus, because surely as “God doesn’t exist”, those two also don’t.

My point with all of what I’ve written is the following:

  1. The Universe is so large that modern-day science keeps discovering more of it every other week. It’s so large that I expect the James Webb project to conclude the Universe to be infinite in the next decade. Remember that new stars are being born each year.
  2. Life as we know it, is only a tiny drop in an ocean. If we don’t destroy our planet through wars or climate change; the Sun will destroy it in a few billion years (we might be dead due to extreme climate even before then). Life doesn’t revolve around us, there is Infinitesimal existence outside of us.
  3. Light, Time, Humans, Earth, the Universe, Life; are too wonderful creations for them to have come about through some unintelligible “big bang”. If you’ve searched for a Creator and have not found One, keep searching. Let go of what you know in the physical, and entertain things that the mind cannot yet fathom.
  4. Stop searching for “aliens”, they probably stopped searching for us an eon ago. Embrace life and the Universe instead, if there are aliens, they’ll find us.
  5. Science and belief are not mutually exclusive. We dispute the Bible because it is a text that was written at a certain stage in Time. If it were written today, I think a lot of concepts therein would have been explained differently; to match our capacity and current understanding of things. A thousand generations from now would still dispute its account of creation anyways.

Isaiah 40:22 says “It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:

Who would have believed that the heavens (Universe) is stretching as a curtain? Imagine the people who first read this trying to fathom what’s going on. Scientists believed the Universe to be static, but in the past decade this has changed. It’s taken thousands of years for the above statement to make sense.

I’m not claiming to be an expert, but I am someone who believes that there is a God who created the Universe (it could be more, but a quantifiable number is better than Infinity) and everything that is in it. I am also someone fascinated by the frequent discoveries about the Universe, about science and even its role in explaining how we know and believe things to be.

I believe that this realm is the physical realm, and that there is another realm, the spiritual realm, that is not subject to the physical realm.

I also acknowledge that there is a lot that would shake my faith if I chose to entertain it. I co-exist with it, a Pandora’s Box of Knowledge, the sudden opening of which is detrimental to me. The key that keeps this Box closed is “I live by the knowledge of what I have seen, and the faith that what my mind cannot fathom is greater than life”.

Lastly, if I were to wake up someday and discover that there is no heaven or hell, it won’t matter because I would have lived the best life that I know how to live. Choosing to obsess about disproving them is like spending my life devoted to finding out how the Universe was formed. I am but a speck of stardust in an ever expanding universe of knowledge.

Let There Be Light, and let us be that light in our little world! I believe in the Creator of Light, the God of Abraham, the God of Jesus Christ.

Why Should I Write?

It’s been a while since I last used WordPress, and almost 9 months since I last wrote a blog post. Something reminded me why I keep paying a small amount of money every month to keep this blog up, and it’s that I used to find writing my heart out to be satisfying.

Some people write because they have an audience, but even the most prolific of writers started without an audience. Even in the age of Facebook and Twitter, where speaking one’s mind can either be a series of Tweets, or a long Facebook post that disappears into the thousands other posts that are on our timelines; there are still people who prefer to write blogs.

At times I don’t have a friend to talk to, and I end up writing something down. Other times I want to share something awesome with the world. Writing is good, maybe some science researcher out there has proven that writing is good, but it shouldn’t matter.

Reading is more important, because a writer who does not read is like a leader who cannot follow. I’m looking at the end of the second month of 20166, and most of my resolutions of attaining balance in my life are out the window. I have a collection of books that I’ve stopped increasing because I’m very behind in reading.

How do avid readers to it? They say “pick up a book and read”. How do the dedicated joggers wake up every morning and spend an hour running? They say “get up, put on your running shoes and run”.

My biggest troubles are that I live under the self-imposed perception that I don’t have time, and that I’m so used to fighting that I am a soldier always at war.

So, why should I write?

For a long time in my life, I’ve had a passion to write, a dream to write children story-books at that. Should we follow all our passions as they make us who we are? I don’t know.

I’ve grown quite vocal about politics over the years, but no I don’t wish to write about politics, I enjoy reading the political commentary that the likes of The Daily Mavericks publish, and I’d rather continue being a reader than a writer.
I have come to learn that I don’t know a lot about our country and continent’s history. I would rather be a reader of those, although most of the time they seem to gravitate around Black Consciousness, but that’s a topic for another year as I’m seen as neo-liberal by my friends.

So why should I write?

Every Tongue in Judgement You Shall Condemn

I was sharing a video on Facebook, and ended up writing a story below it. This was probably the better place to share what The Lord placed in my heart.

“No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgement you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of The Lord, and their righteousness is from Me” Says The Lord. – Isaiah 54:17

I’ve always quoted the first part of the verse, because of course no weapon formed/fashioned against me shall prosper, but it is only in growing have I started to understand the meaning, implications and impartation of the full scripture.

We have the power in Jesus’ authority to condemn the tongue that rises against us in judgement. This is our heritage as Isaiah 54:17 proclaims, and it has been completed by the seal of the Holy Spirit!

We are a people living in a time where chaos is the rule of the land, where defeat is the meal of the day. We are being attacked in the workplace, in our land, there is conflict within our families, and we can no longer tell between our fleshly desires and the enemy’s fiery darts. Our houses are not in order, and we can’t let our pathless wandering be our defeat.

The bible says that the power of life and death is in the tongue. There are tongues that are rising against us in judgement, and we can’t be silent and let them exercise the power of death. Christ came that we may have life, and have it abundantly. It is now the hour for us to boldly proclaim that over our lives. God Himself said that we shall condemn tongues rising against us. It is not an option, it is not for our priests and pastors to do on our behalf; it is our call in this hour.

It is time we speak life unto our lives, unto our families, communities, nation. The workplace is arid with no prophetic vision. We did not graduate to balance books nor be couch potatoes and Twitter activists, but to take charge and walk in the prophecies declared unto us.

 

The Longing

Life gets busy, sometimes it gets noisy with pretense of busyness. Either way, it gets busy.

Busyness sometimes means that one is productive, but how much productivity becomes cancerous to the soul? I found myself wondering this weekend when I was writing down all the things that I needed to achieve by the end of the weekend. Even when I wasn’t being ambitious, it felt like I was about to climb a sizeable mountain, and without the right equipment at that!

For a number of years, perhaps since the start of my career, I’ve found that there are seldom times where I can just relax all weekend knowing that there’s nothing that demands my attention. I can’t remember the feeling of leaving work at the end of the day, knowing that I don’t need to do any work until I switch on my laptop again the following day.
I’ll admit that I’ve been affected by the negativity of deadlines that require extra work at night from home, such that whenever I turn on my work laptop, I feel a bit of depression. This happens even when I’m not turning the laptop on to do work.

Ticking Clock

I’ve just come off the back of a 1-month off-work vacation. I didn’t do much travelling cos money, so I ended up working on projects for half the time, and relatively relaxing for the other half of my time. So one can say that I’m rested, but then why am I feeling exhausting if I’m well rested?

As I paused to catch a thought, I noticed an increment to a minute. Stare at the clock for a bit longer, and I would have noticed a few more increments. Thing is that when I take a breather, time doesn’t take one with me.

This brings me to the first problem that I encounter: I feel that I lack the ability to manage my time well. Everything has its time, but lately I feel like everything wants all my time.

Clearly the solution here is to learn to make more time so I can allocate the time to everything that needs it, or is it?

Equal Time

We can all agree that each man on the universe has 24 hours in a day, none have more, and none have less. So time is not a relative thing, at least that’s what the above would lead me to conclude.
If time is absolute, how come is it that some of us can’t use it as well as other people.

I remember a while ago when I was considering getting into a relationship with a girl I liked, but I would have a tough time with taking a few evenings off to see her. She told me that we make time for the things and people we care about.  I also once read somewhere that if Barrack Obama can make time for his wife, then I’ve got no excuse … (Or something along those lines).

True then, we all have equal time, so then why am I failing to use it to the best of my ability, or to use to to serve my purpose (spirit, soul, body).

  • Why do I keep saying that I can’t join gym because it will take time that I already don’t have?
  • Why have I not learn to play the guitar that I bought 4 years ago?
  • Why can’t I make enough time to read, play chess, go watch cricket, go on picnics, etc?

I am coming to believe that the reason why I can’t do all the above is because of how I view time.

If I considered a minute important, and took care of it, the minutes would take care of the hours, and so on.

Yes, this is the same as “take care of the cents, and the cents will take care of the Rands” [or whatever currency].

What I long for

I really long for that feeling where I don’t have anything in my backlog of TODOs, or a deadline that I’m chasing. Is it such a hard thing to want?

I don’t think it’s a hard thing to want, but it is something I can work on. After all, most things are often in our control to influence. This does not mean that working on what I long for would be easy, but I’m willing to try my hand at it once again.

I’ve heard a number of times people talking about temporal vs. eternal pleasure/joy/happiness. This is mostly ingrained in my religion, that as Christians we “fight the good fight”, we labour in the Earth looking forward to the day when our joy is complete.
The opposite is very evident, such that whether or not one is of a certain religion, we could agree that we can label the above as a principle. Take varsity for example, a lazy student who enjoys the pleasures of the present moment often comes to regret it when they don’t complete with good grades. Another example is someone who doesn’t save up enough for retirement.

What can one do?

My longing is probably something that other people who’ve made themselves very occupied share. I don’t want to share this longing anymore though, so I’m resolving to work on either attaining it.

I’m going to continue with my backlog of every single thing that I need to do, and tackle it as long as the day is “Today”.
Some ideas that I’ve been considering are:

  • Start allocating my time better, and stick to the allocations. For example, when I’m home in the evening, I make sure that 20:00 – ~21:30 is my reading  and prayer time.
  • Look for things that I can complete in a short period of time, and use some of my idle time in working on them.
  • Work harder on making more efficient tools for myself. I am a part-time software developer, and I can sometimes benefit from spending 3 nights writing a tool that will make me save a few weeks’ worth of work. (AUTOMATE ALL THE THINGS?).
  • Plan activities that I want to do, block time out for them, and work harder before them so that I don’t feel guilty with taking the time off.
  • Take better care of my body? Easier said than done, but it shall be done.

TL;DR

I think like every odd overly ambitious person in their working life, I suffer from the cycle of dissatisfaction. In this instance my dissatisfaction is with my working most of the time not resting. I think though that in this instance I might have to work harder so I can relax.
I know it’s quite odd, and I’m probably not making much sense, but I felt like writing down what was on my mind before I get back to work 🙁

Hating Sin as Sin [John Owen]

John Owen talking about hating sin, here he was laying the principle that sometimes we want to mortify a particular sin because it grieves us, and gives us no peace.

If you hate sin as sin, every evil way, you would be no less watchful against everything that grieves and disquiets the Spirit of God, than against that which grieves and disquiets your own soul. It is evident that you contend against sin merely because of your own trouble by it. – Overcoming Sin and Temptation [page 87]

I’ve been trying to deal with a particular sin in my life, but I acknowledge that most times that I try to deal with it, it’s because that it makes me unhappy to be battling with it. In trying to rise up against it, I’ve found that I would not be sensitive to other things that I do, not taking care to ensure that I keep to my prayer and reading.

I haven’t been hating sin as sin, but I’ve been hating it because it takes away my peace.

Be Acquainted with Your Heart [Owen Daily]

This was from the introduction to the book, where Owen was talking about us knowing our hearts, as we can’t fight sin if we don’t know our temperament and how to deal with it.

Be acquainted, then, with thine own heart; though it be deep, search it; though it be dark, inquire into it; though it give all its distempers other names than what are their due, believe it not.

John Owen [Overcoming Sin and Temptation; page 30]