I was digging through some draft posts and came across this one that was never posted from over two years ago.

What if we run out of toilet paper because we used an entire roll in our driveway for a school project? Ha! Ha! We are currently studying Orderliness: Planets, Moon, and Seasons. In order to give some perspective on the distance of the planets, we used a roll of toilet paper. Ten squares = 93 million miles, or 1 A.U. (Astronomical Unit – about the distance of the sun to earth). The inner solar system, or Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars weren’t very far away – at the back of the driveway quite close to the sun (a big rock holding down the end of the toilet paper).

Image courtesy of Photobucket.

Traveling on out to Jupiter (about 95 squares of toilet paper), Saturn (about 199 squares), and Uranus (I forget how many squares) took us WAY down the driveway and then I think we ran out of toilet paper before we ever got to Neptune! Pluto would’ve been on the other side of the street! (Note: this was before the proverbial "they" determined that Pluto is no longer a planet.) Our driveway, for a point of reference, is probably at least 8 car lengths long – it runs down the side of the entire property. Our sun is SO far away from Earth and yet that was only 10 squares of toilet paper. It makes it hard to even grasp the distance to the outer planets, especially Pluto!

Another cool perspective tool is this site, which shows the proportion of the planets to one another and to the sun. It also shows the sun’s proportions to some stars – Sirius, Pollux, Rigel, Betelgeuse, Aldebaran, Arcturus, and Antares.

Amazingly, our enormous sun (which can hold 1 million earths) is almost invisible compared to Antares! And to think that all of this – our solar system – is only a small part of God’s creation! And ALL of that is held in the palm of His hand and created and held together by His word. Studying this has changed my perspective on the vastness and hugeness and magnificence of God. It is astounding that He could be SO big and care SO much for finite pixel particle people (fp3) like us! Not only that He cares about us, but He loves us. He created amazing detail here on earth and in our very lives and yet we are but an invisible speck in relation to Him! To top it off, He wants to have a relationship with us – that’s why He created us.

I cannot even fathom creating and wanting to have a relationship with something microscopic by comparison. To think about Jesus leaving the glory of His life to humble Himself and become a mere human – a baby, no less. That He would grow up in a very simple and plain life. That He would be ridiculed, misunderstood, arrested, tortured, and then hung on a cross, enduring tremendous pain – the likes of which I could never even grasp – all so that sinful, pathetic, little human beings could have the opportunity to be reconciled to Him! He already knew that many would reject Him. Yet He loves them all enough to have done it anyway. He loves ME enough to have done it just for me.

The fact that He even chose to give us a free will is mind-boggling. And then I think how I (as a teensy little fp3) have the audacity to put my hands on my hips and tell God that I want what I want when I want it. And I want Him to give His stamp of approval to my choices. I expect Him to allow me to run my little life and give me what I want, like some genie in a bottle, without ever considering His immensity, His awesomeness, and His love. Who do I think I am? Help me Lord, to learn to be obedient, to learn to be ever grateful for Your amazing love, to remember Your awesome holiness. May my life be transformed in light of this new perspective.


Post Script: In my quiet time this morning, I was struck by how often I have things backwards. I often attempt to make my own plans and THEN seek after God's direction and will for MY plans. I pray that I would learn to seek Him first and align my plans with His.

"But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." Matthew 6:33

1 comment:

Rachael said...

What a wonderful post! It is amazing to think about the real glory of it, isn't it?

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