GRAVITY AND LIGHT
Gravity and light are oddly different yet they are the same.
They are the same because, as far as our crude instruments can determine, they travel at exactly the same speed.
Gravity bends space and light travels the bends of space.
When a star ceases to exist through breaking up (or when 2 stars collide and merge), the bends in space, caused by that star, change. The change is “felt” at the same time the flare of the light of that star is observed.
Einstein predicted it, but there was no proof until 2017. That is when earth “felt” and “saw” two neutron stars collide. With a gravitational wave detector scientists knew an event took place in a galaxy about 130 million light years away. Two seconds later orbital observatories detected new gamma radiation (a form of light) coming from the same galaxy. The wave and the light traveled 130 million light years and arrived virtually simultaneously. Perhaps one stopped off at a Starbuck’s for a cappuccino??
I wouldn’t, but then I’ve never traveled that far (or that fast). I’m just an old slowpoke with few bright ideas and very little gravitas.
Why is this important? Beats me! I figure there is nothing I can do about it either way. By the time I noticed our sun was missing, earth already would be shooting into outer space. It’d be unbearably cold within a day and then we no longer would have to worry about man-made global warming. (I kinda like all the radiation we get from the sun.) I’m guessing there would not be a rescue team from Alpha Centauri because by the time they’d notice the gravitational change we would have been popsicles for many years.
It makes me think of songwriter and singer Warren Zevon. During his last appearance on Letterman’s show he explained that he was dying of lung cancer and said “You’re reminded to enjoy every sandwich and every minute playing with the guys, and being with the kids.” Ah! It changes your perspective when you know this life is temporary and there is nothing you can do about it.
Nobody finishes their “to do” list before they die. That is why we must prioritize our lives. We waste too much time selecting a life-long mate (spending years with losers is not a smart decision). We under-utilize our precious lives swiping our smartphone screens. We think we will feel better working long hours to afford a $135,000 car when a $35,000 car will allow us to spend more of our time-limited lives making a difference for those people who matter most. We have to enjoy every sandwich.
I was reminded recently of the importance of “Sabbath rest.” When I was a child, I understood it childishly as an onerous high commandment of God. I suppose there is nothing wrong with seeing it that way, but in the context of when it was given it has a fuller meaning. The Children of Israel had been slaves in Egypt for hundreds of years. Generation after generation were given no days off, no opportunity to rest, no opportunity to “smell the roses.” They were used as tools (not people) 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year from birth until death. Thus, the Sabbath was God’s gift. It was His way of reminding them they were PEOPLE and people were created in the image of God. The Sabbath allowed them to shake off the slavery of their ancestors and BECOME the free people they always were meant to be. It was an opportunity to enjoy every sandwich. It does the same for us.
Here’s a way to work on the important more often: Write out a list of life-priorities you wish you had. Include spiritual issues as well as relational. Make it very specific.
I did this. Years ago I realized I wanted my young daughters to KNOW their father loved them. Love is shared with “one-on-one” time, so I planned out weekly events which included no one but them and myself. We called them “Daddy/Daughter Dates.” (Yes! In today’s era that name sounds kinda “iffy” but in the purity of the time it was more than OK. Plus, I received my wife’s approval first.) We went bowling, we went to parks to slide and swing, walked river banks, and talked about everything. We spent 2 or 3 hours every Thursday evening together. They looked forward to those nights, as did I. They learned in many ways that I have a great love for them.
Later we expanded it to include my wife and we did lots of neat stuff together that we saw few other families doing. We went to hear professional duets at small events (they were the only youth in the crowd). We went to a Christmas play in a cozy theatre (and drank hot cocoa). We went to apple orchards (think bushels of fresh apples, cider, and doughnuts), museums and festivals. And when the girls grew up they took their boyfriends to Christmas plays, orchards, museums, and festivals. They learned that shared experiences and time together say “love” better than almost anything else.
So, if you knew that the sun was going to disappear in one year what would you do with your time-limited life? What light-inspired thing would you purposely do? What weighty task would you determine to perform?
Maybe you should.
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