I take a lot of things for granted. Take the sun, for instance. It’s 93 million miles away. Ninety-three million miles. Let’s say you hop in a car and start driving towards the sun at 60 mph (okay, we’ll make it a spacecar) — it’d take you 177 years to get there. And that’s if there aren’t any red lights along the way. So the sun is far, but the thing that blows my mind is this: it’s so bright to us here on earth that if we look straight at it, it temporarily blinds us. And it’s hot. You can burn ants with it (and a magnifying glass). That’s crazy. I mean, I understand the physics of it (the basics, anyway), but isn’t it bonkers that the whole thing actually works? Not to mention its huge role in life on earth and all of that.
Speaking of distance, instant messaging is another thing that’s crazy if you stop to think about it. I can type “lol” on my laptop and have it show up pretty much instantly for someone on the other side of the globe. Which is almost 13,000 miles away. Not as far away as the sun, but still pretty dang far. It’s like magic, except better because, like, it actually works.
There’s more. The stuff we build amazes me. Like cities. And buildings — cathedrals, skyscrapers, football stadiums, airports. Even just ordinary houses are incredible (meaning, hard to believe). The fact that we can stick pieces of wood together into something that (a) stands upright and (b) doesn’t blow down with the wind just blows my mind.
Don’t get me wrong, I love animals (or at least I don’t hate them), but you don’t see anything like this in the animal kingdom. Sure, lots of species do some crazy intricate things, but nothing even comes close to what we humans build. Our cities are far more complex than any anthill.
And there’s things like plastics. We can mold plastic into almost any shape we want, which is why my shampoo bottle looks the way it does. And shampoo is amazing, too. To think that we somehow came up with the right types of things to mix together to make our hair (a) clean and (b) smell good (plus the other stuff shampoo does, most of which is beyond me) is a miracle.
And we have zippers and post-it notes and medicines that work (usually) and violins and pianos that actually sound beautiful and microwaves and street lights and the whole earth is chock-full of little miracles.
Street lights remind me of something else that blows my mind: freeways. Streets in general, but freeways in particular. First, you have this crazy massive network of I don’t know how many millions of tons of asphalt laid all over the country (and world, but we’ll stick with the States for this paragraph), flattened out and relatively smooth. They’ve put roads through mountains and (with the help of bridges, which are also incredible) over bays and rivers and lakes. Second, and this is the bigger miracle for me, we have millions of imperfect humans driving at fairly high speeds in all sizes of vehicles on these freeways…and yet accidents are relatively rare. Consider all it takes for an accident to happen: someone’s attention leaves the road for four or five seconds. Or someone accidentally turns their steering wheel a few millimeters too far. It’s an insane miracle that there aren’t a lot more accidents on every road we’ve got. Which is why I believe in traffic angels.
And, actually, all of these miracles are a testimony to me that God loves us, because even as awesome as we are (being the children of God with all sorts of latent superpowers) (no, really), there’s no way we could have gotten as far as we have without his help. Without God inspiring all of these makers and builders and inventors, we’d still be living in caves. (Well, maybe not caves, but you get the point.) At least we’d still have that bright, hot, oh-so-far-away sun.