The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Up, back and ahead

Trust God will provide direction all along your way

... and he set out, not knowing where he was going (Hebrews 11:8).

I read somewhere that based on the discoveries of the Hubble telescope, scientists believe there are nine galaxies for every person on Earth. How many people now live around the world? Just more than 6 billion. If the scientists are correct, that means 54 billion galaxies — a perspective that boggles the mind, especially if you recall that our solar system fits into just one.

I've no idea how a scientist makes such a claim. But if it's true, the numbers are particularly staggering for a person like me who's never been west of the Mississippi River. There's a lot out there we can't see and don't know, a lot of unmapped space.

Wisdom partially originates from the gift of perspective. Maybe this is why God took a little evening stroll with Abraham in that old story from Genesis (15:1-6). He was about to send the old boy on a journey without a map. You can sense Abraham's resistance. So God says, "Look up. Count the stars." Perspective.

photodiscNow factor in time. Time going both ways, past and future — centuries, millennia, in both directions. Time stretches backward and forward in ways we can't begin to measure or fathom. Our lives usually unfold in a series of appointments, commitments, deadlines and errands ranging from the mundane to the vital. We make plans to be somewhere, do something, fulfill a promise at a certain time and place. Open the calendar and off we go — arriving, departing, hellos, goodbyes. Years pass. Whole lives are lived this way. Our decade, this moment, these headlines — ours is the urgent time and place now. I suspect anyone living anytime or anywhere must have thought the same thing.

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February issue


Embracing diversity