A couple of years ago, around this time of year, I wrote to you about my King. Well, it is time for us to celebrate His feast again. I’m so excited!
Of course, we celebrate His feast once a week on Sundays – and really every day in between too – but this feast is special. It comes only once a year, right at the end.
As soon as we celebrate this feast, we start all over again and remember how He came to live among us so that we could get to know Him. How fun!
Anyway, in the last few years, it seems, they have been saying something different about my King when His feast day arrives.
They used to say He is King of heaven and earth. So true! But now sometimes they say is King of the universe.
I have to admit, that kind of weirds me out when they say that.
Now it’s not that I don’t believe it’s so. From what I gather, my King was right there when the whole universe was created.
In fact, they say “all things were created through Him and for Him” (Colossians 1: 16). So, of course, He’s got to be in charge of it all. Couldn’t be any other way.
And it’s not that I don’t want to share Him. Not at all. It’s so wonderful having Him live in my heart that I want Him to live in everybody’s heart.
I guess it goes back to this time years ago when I was out in the woods late at night and I looked up at the cold winter sky.
I had seen stars before, of course, but that night, that night I saw stars and stars and stars, filling the whole sky. It seemed like there was no end to them.
The science people tell us that by the time that little twinkle reached me, each star I saw that night had probably gone out of existence. Not to worry though, new ones are being born all the time to replace them.
It was just so grand, so immense.
I’ve told you before that my King lives in my heart and this is true. He lives in the hearts of all of His people (or He’s knocking on their doors) – and there are a lot of people on this earth.
But when I consider all those stars and all of the planets that could be spinning around them, it’s almost too much.
If my King is in charge of all of that, how could He have time for me?
When I’m busy discussing all of my thoughts and feelings with Him, I feel so certain that He is listening. In fact, it seems like I have His undivided attention, so deep and loving is His concern for me.
But how could this be? There are 7 billion other people on earth alone. And all of those stars and solar systems to keep track of – maybe with other people living on other planets?
How could He be listening just to me? I’m nobody in particular when it comes to all of that. I’m certainly no important person and my thoughts and feelings can’t be nearly as significant as all of those solar systems.
Sometimes, when I get weirded out by all of this, I start to doubt. Maybe there is no King living in my heart. Maybe I’ve just imagined it all…
But this doesn’t go on for long. Even though my King knows by now that He doesn’t have to knock to enter my heart, He’ll start knocking again for old times’ sake.
And when I hear that knocking, I can’t help but laugh at myself. How could I ever think I made that up? I’m not that clever!
I may like to tell a story now and then but I could never come up one like this. Not in a million years.
Anyway, when I get weirded out about this kind of stuff, I talk it over with my King’s Father. I think I told you about Him before. He lives in my heart too – and He is so wise and loving that it seems I can ask Him anything and He’ll straighten it out.
So I asked Him about this, about how the King of this immense and wonderfully complicated universe could care about – much less keep track of – all of my little thoughts and feelings every day.
And you know what? He told me. He shared the secret with me!
I’m afraid I can’t explain it very well. It made perfect sense when He explained it but now it’s hard to put into words. It goes something like this…
My King is in charge of everything – but somehow it doesn’t place a strain on Him. It’s hard for me to get this part. Everyone I’ve ever known that was in charge of a lot of stuff got pretty tired and stressed out by it all.
But that doesn’t happen to my King. Since everything comes into being through Him, He knows and understands it all perfectly.
If one of those stars dies, He knows about it. When a new one is born, He gets all excited because He knows that everything that’s born comes from Love.
Yup. Nothing comes into being without Love. He loves His Father and His Father loves Him and their Spirit is a shared loving between them. And their love creates everything.
This means nothing is a secret from Them. In every second, They know what is happening with every created thing – because each and every one is like one of their kids.
And size doesn’t matter. The big things, like solar systems, are no more important to my King than the little sparrows that hunt for seed in my backyard.
In fact, my King announced a long time ago that our Father knows every time one of those little sparrows falls to the ground. And He told us that we have much greater value than them.
(I don’t think He meant to hurt the sparrows’ feelings when He said this. He just has different plans for the sparrows than He has for us. He loves them a lot too.)
How my King can do this, how He can be this way, is beyond me. I have trouble paying attention to even two or three things at a time – so I cannot understand how He takes it all in every second of every day without getting confused.
These things that seem impossible, well, these are the things we call mysteries.
Sometimes when we call things mysteries, the people who haven’t opened their doors yet to the knocking think we just imagined it all. That we made up stories to make ourselves feel good.
I suppose I might think so too if my King was just an idea to me. If I don’t understand an idea, it’s hard for me to believe that it’s true just because somebody else said so.
But my King is so much more than an idea. He lives in my heart all the time and listens to me. I love Him so.
Sometimes He even sings to me. I bet He sings to you too, if you sit real still and listen. It may take a little while to hear it – and you may not hear it every time.
But listen carefully in the stillness. He sings…
And now, on His feast, we sing to Him, together with every living thing in the universe – you sing with your voice and I sing with mine. The sparrows chirp and the lions roar. The bees buzz and the hyenas howl. Even the stars have their own swirling songs of joyous light…
It is just too beautiful for words… Too beautiful, indeed.
All of it good, but two parts really struck home : (1) about how “It made perfect sense when He explained it but now it’s hard to put into words” and (2) that “size doesn’t matter.” I would add to #2 something that has previously troubled me: time doesnt matter either.
It was very helpful to read this on Sunday morning after a long night following a dark movie, “Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri” (near where I live, supposedly). Keep telling your stories, Mary. They are so much richer than much of what’s reported these days.
Thanks, Al. If you are inclined, I would like to hear more of your thoughts on how time doesn’t matter. (Of course it doesn’t – but I don’t know in what sense you mean it here.)
I suspect that most of what we think matters, doesn’t. A good reason to be led by God and have no will of my own. My own will can be a dangerous thing.
I just now reread everything here, including your question about the connection between size, time, and what you wrote in the post. I think it must be related to your discussion of the universe, in which the light of a star that has already died hasn’t reached our eyes yet. That idea brought to mind the experience I have been having off and on of seeing a photograph of myself at a much younger age, say 35, and wondering why i appear so different now when i feel no different. That is, the image can trigger exact memories of what i was doing (e.g., playing tennis) and I feel that I could be doing that right now, though of course I can’t because my body and energy level have changed. And that experience makes me think about time itself in relation to infinity, which i cannot grasp but have been told that there is such a thing because God is beyond time. So that leads to my wondering if there really is no such thing as time, in the sense that we think we know it. I said that this topic “previously troubled me” because I thought I was supposed to understand things taught in church, such as the immortality of the soul. Now, when I read reflections like yours, Father Stephen’s, and Christina’s, i begin to understand that understanding is not the point, just as size and time are not essential to meaning. (And you are right, it is hard to put these things into words.)
P.S. It often takes me time to react to what I read. That’s why it is so good to be able to return to your writings.
I enjoy your delayed reactions, Al. Too often, when reading the writings of others, I rush through and do not come back to them. I do not give them the mulling over they require and deserve. So when you come up with a comment out of the blue, it reminds me of the importance of pondering.
Yes, I was just thinking about time the other day. (Do other people think about these things on a regular basis?) It has occurred to me more than once that our notion of time is way too small for God. When the literal creationists say that God created the heavens and the earth in 7 days, I wonder if they have stopped to consider that there was no such thing as a “day” until the earth was created and began spinning on its axis. Or at least no “day” as we define it.
A similar notion comes to mind when people talk about God “planning” to do something at some future time. Does God need to wait for the earth to circle the sun a certain number of times before He takes action?
You are correct. Being able to understand all of these things is not particularly important – or it shouldn’t be. If any one of us can understand God, then He is not much of a God. But what is important – and really mind-blowing – is to consider that God entered time.
How does the timeless One enter time? How does the uncreated One become a created being? How could Jesus be both God and Man?
These questions have likely led many to discredit our faith – and tempt a good many more of us. Yet, in some ways, it is the utter absurdity of it that makes me believe it is true. What makes complete sense to my mind isn’t worth believing. A plan so extraordinarily perfect and beyond comprehension – THAT befits a God Who could have created the universe and all it holds.