One of the truly great and simple pleasures in life is laying back in a dark meadow on a warm summer night and staring into the heavens. For me gazing at the stars has always filled me with a tremendous sense of awe. Still to this day when I stare into the celestial heavens, I smile in wonderment. In these special moments, I am instantly drawn closer to God through faith.
In fact, celestial bodies and faith have a great deal in common. With each the vast and endless possibilities often lay beyond our understanding and realm. Yet, both celestial bodies and faith exist in our universe, both have an undeniable gravitational force and you can tell a great deal about both by the orbits and behaviors of what is around them.
Recently, for example, astronomers have postulated that a 9th planet exists in our solar system. (You may recall that poor Pluto has been downgraded in status. Ironically by these same astronomers.) While the suspect planet, Planet X, is large, it’s distance away from earth is so great and the amount of territory to be searched is so vast that it cannot yet be seen with current technology. It’s existence has been theorized not through direct observation of the planet itself, but by observing the behavior of what is around it. Astronomers have noted that the gravitational movements of bodies around Planet X indicate not only that the planet exists, but that it is uncommonly large.
Our faith, much like the existence of Planet X, is often demonstrated by the behaviors of other bodies in our orbit. Often times the truest testament of the existence of our faith is manifested in the actions of those in our circle or orbit. Remember that faith, like celestial bodies, has its own gravitational force. That is to say that our faith has a power of attraction–the bigger the faith, the more powerful the attraction.
As importantly, the power of our faith is often determined in large part by the size of the faith in those around us. When it comes to space, Newton’s law states the gravitational force between two objects is “directly proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them.” Similarly, the size and pull of our faith is directly related to the mass of the faith in the people around us and the distance between us and them.
It is little wonder, then, that in Romans 1 Paul tells us that each of us is to be encouraged by the other’s faith and that the righteousness of God is revealed faith to faith. Moreover, in 1 Corinthians 12 Paul reminds us that we each have a variety of gifts of the same spirit. As a result, the various talents in our orbit collectively help maintain our faith.
In the end, all of us will have moments in time where our faith wanes or when we question God’s purpose in our lives. This is why it’s vitally important to surround ourselves with men and women of faith. Their collective faith will draw us back closer to God and ensure we maintain our celestial orbit!