Thursday, October 8, 2009

Being impressed by God

This is another in my "understanding God" series, with particular attention to God's All Knowingness. Now, I've already used the basic principle of the example I'm going to present to you here, but I think that it is so important and powerful to you to understand that I'm giving you a variation.

But first, I'm going to explain my title, about "being impressed by God." We live in a media and "impact" obsessed modern society. The television program "Saturday Night Live" spoofed this with a series of skits called "Impress Ed Asner." The actual actor, Ed Asner, would sit there and rate various goofy people do funny or disgusting things, to see if he was impressed.

Well, if one really understands the All Knowingness of God, you will definitely be impressed with him. Young people, this is why I think of these examples with you in mind, since you've been raised by your parents and teachers to be good consumers, being impressed with products that you will spend money for. Likewise, you have grown up in a high tech age and so you have a built in tendency to look at everything to assess its functionality, and then decide if you are impressed. This is not a criticism of you, but of course, as you know, I think that being raised that way has lost for you a lot of the genuine mystery and wonderment of life, including, especially, of God. So here is another of my examples of the All Knowingness of God.

A few minutes ago, just before I sat back down in front of the computer, I went into the kitchen and filled my beverage glass (a genuine Coca Cola 75Th anniversary edition, LOL) with ice from the freezer, and then Coca Cola from the bottle I just bought today. I then took my first sip from that glass.

So here is a sample of God's All Knowingness. As I hold the glass, God could tell you all about every subatomic particle that makes up that glass: how many they are, what they are like, and where they came from. So just to select one subatomic particle in that glass, God could tell you when and how that subatomic particle came into being, and where it has been and where it traveled, and what function that particle performed at all points in time. God could then tell you where that subatomic particle, and remember, all of its millions of fellow particles, will go to next, and next and next, all the way to the end of time and space. In other words, God knows what will happen to that glass in the future, even though I do not know yet myself. Will I sell it, keep it, will it be around for a long time, or accidentally broken and then discarded? Whatever happens to it God not only knows where it and all its tiny subatomic particles will be, God also knows all the "could have beens." In other words, God knows what I, and then later other people, will do with that Coca Cola glass, and when its broken or lost what becomes of the particles as they break down and degrade, BUT God ALSO knows all the "alternative futures" if I did otherwise than I will do. In other words, God knows that, for example, I might keep that glass for many years, but he also knows what would have but will not happen to that glass if I gave it to a friend or threw it away, or lost it.

Just so you are not confused, I'm not saying that there are "alternative futures," which is a popular fantasy in science fiction genre of entertainment. There is only one future, because that is the reality of what actually happens. "The future" is reality as it unfolds, as the result of many decisions people make. People do not "change the future." The future is always exactly the same as the Present, since the future is what is happening at the moment in reality. In other words, the definition of "the future" is "the current day reality that has not yet happened."

Today and all the things you did today was as recently as yesterday, "the future." But it doesn't feel like "the future," since it was "today." The future is simply every "today" that has not yet occurred. It's kind of boring but accurate to think of it that way. So God knows in advance what every "today" will be in reality, to the smallest imaginable detail....

However, God is also so amazing that he could tell you what it would have been like if different types of "today" happened in the future. Let's give an example. Today is nearly over with, as I'm typing this in early evening, and so I can type with pretty good confidence that there was not an asteroid that hit the earth today. There's a lot of discussion about the lunar probe that will be crash landed into the moon tomorrow to look for water there. But if one of you were chatting with God, you could say to him, "What if an asteroid had hit the earth today? What would have happened?" God could tell you in all the detail (like in our example, down to each subatomic particle) of what would have been the results of such an event that did not, actually, take place.

How does God do it? How is he capable of telling people, if they were to have such a conversation with him, not only every detail of what will happen, but answer even strange "what if" type of future questions? Here's how you can understand it using some modern analogies.

Most people understand that in business people often do trend analysis. In other words, if data seems to trend in a certain direction, they can, based on experience, guesstimate where the data will move next. God does not have to guess because he knows exactly what reaction results from each action. So God would be able to tell you, in that "what if" scenario, what matter and what energy would react, in the "what if" asteroid collision, down to the smallest detail, such as, as we are discussing, the subatomic particles. So God does not have to "trend line," because God knows what each and every real reaction would be to each and every change... and he knows it all at once, all the time, for any and all times in the past, present and future, and even beyond the end of the universe and time, matter and energy at all (which is the realm of heaven).

So God could tell you what will happen to every subatomic particle in my Coca Cola glass in reality, as it really will occur in the future, and he could also tell you what would have happened "instead" if you came up with a hypothetical change to what has actually happened and what actually will happen. He could tell you the answer to silly questions, like what if human beings still had fur, or if they could flap their wings and fly. God could detail for you exactly what would have happened if that had been the reality.

For example, a lot of entertainers like to produce works based on "what if Hitler had won the war?" Well, God could tell you exactly what "would have happened," down to every subatomic particle (and beyond, since God knows even what is happening in the absence of matter), but God would remind you that he also, of course, knows, and has known all along, what would indeed in fact happen. He could educate and amuse you with answering your questions about "what if," but that's all it would be, since God knows the reality of what each future "today" will be: the sum total of all that actually is happening and will happen.

Now, even to marvel that God is like an amazing computer that can calculate the outcomes of any hypothetical scenario is to sell short God's All Knowingness. That is because the universe is not like a great machine, even though it operates with natural laws of time, matter and energy. God knows two things that cannot be computer "trend lined"... he knows what he will do in response to certain choices that humans make (his divine intervention) AND God knows in advance great shifts that will take place as the Holy Spirit ever works to turn people away from self destructive paths. God is not a passive god who has set the universe like a clock in motion and then sits back to watch, any more than humans are like that. Yes, humans go through terrible times of passivity in the face of evil, despair and indifference, and even ignoring God himself, but humans are not by nature total couch potatoes. So any sort of image of God, or humans, as, respectively, great and perfect, or flawed and imperfect, machines is totally misguided. Just as God's Holy Spirit never rests, human beings never reach a state where absolutely no one is responsive to the yearning for avoiding evil and doing good, and finding the real, and not the convenient, truthfulness of matters. So God knows not only the mechanics of the cause and effect of all past, present and future events, large or minuscule, but he also knows in advance the interaction of spirit and the healing, correcting, and even chastising effects of God's intervention throughout all human existence.

So suppose in the future someone steals my Coca Cola glass from me, LOL. God already knows in advance not only the logistical cause-and-effect of the movement of matter in time, space, with energy, and what happens to the glass, and to me, and to the perpetrators, but God also knows the spiritual goodness and damage that will result from individual choices made in that action. God knows in advance, before the thief steals my Coca Cola glass, that this was his or her intention, and why he or she thought that was a good idea, and what the state of their heart and soul is, and what will be the consequences, both cascading from the specific action, but also spiritually, all the way to the ultimate outcomes of each person at the end of their life, in personal judgment. Thus I am sitting here not knowing if in reality someday someone will steal my Coca Cola glass from me, but God not only knows (down to that incredible microcosm that only he has, such as knowing what subatomic particles of air are jostled as the person takes my glass, imagine that!)... but God also knows whether that person ever will regret, atone, remedy, or, rather, if it is just a pattern of cascading decisions that will result in more loss of potential grace, more downfall, more erosion of spirituality... and implications (such as others being led into sin by observing and condoning the future stealing of my Coca Cola glass). God already knows ALL of these things, all the thoughts and all the deeds, and all the movements of all the particles of the universe, as he has known even before he created the universe at all.

If you were able to exist before God even created the universe, God could tell you, "And some day this lady, Mary Major, will be blogging about me and explain to you my All Knowingness, and will use as an example her Coca Cola glass, and now I can tell you that...." [and here he would tell you what will eventually happen one way or the other to my Coca Cola glass]. God knows everything even before he created anything.

This is why you should be impressed with, and ultimately, love God, and fear him (in the good way, as in fearing that you would ever lose God through your own actions). Not only because his All Knowingness is so awesome and just about indescribable, but more to the point, even knowing all that he does, including what will happen, he seeks a personal relationship with each human being and meets you on a level that you can understand, and have dignity of response with him, through the choices you have, even though he knows all of the choices you will make in advance. God is always totally "in the moment" with each person, not withholding or holding against them what God knows they will do in the future. God does, however, know the sincerity and motivation through which you seek (or avoid) a relationship with him, and so of course he is never fooled.

Just to complete the example, as I sipped my Coca Cola (which I finished while typing this and the ice cubes are just about all melted), God knows how each of the particles of my beverage will pass through my system, which drops of fluid will replenish the moisture of my body, and which is excess that will get voided away into the fine bathroom (ironically said, ha) next door to my room. God then knows where those droplets of water and urea acids and whatnot and whatever will go into the sewage and drainage system, and where they will flow next and what they will do and where they will go, so far into the future and so long as the subatomic particles that make them up survive and exist. And should one have had such a conversation with God, one could ask him what would have been the difference if I had had a glass of skim milk instead, ha. Then he could also tell you what cows contributed to that glass of milk, etc. Really, God does know everything, not only as it happened, as it is happening, but in total into all of the future too, and he knows all of this all the time and simultaneously.

I hope that you have found this interesting, even my beverage choices and the location of the nearest bathroom in this household...

Humor aside, I really hope and pray that it restores, or gives to you for the first time, real comprehension of the awesome dimensions and reality of God the All Knowing.