It is a special treat to see outside the earth’s atmosphere to the moon but also a treat to see the local stars and star patterns — all well within our local Milky Way neighborhood. But there are nights we can go outside the neighborhood and visit other places–galaxies at distances that cannot be comprehended. We see farther on those nights to places we will never visit. So when there is opportunity to see a few galaxies or star cities in one field of view, what are we seeing? Are the images in books and the media so common that we are blind to what we see?
It truly is a privilege to see these three spiral galaxies in one field of view but thinking about what is seen is the challenge. If an observer sees these objects in a lifeless universe that he interprets as self-generating, then what he sees confirms that he has little purpose in the grand scheme of things, because he is, after all, a product of the same process that made them. The stars and galaxies are sign posts of meaningless life except that which is artificially generated during the brief spurt of a few decades before the observer dies, decays, and returns to some semblance of a random mix of atoms. With this view in mind, most observers tell children same thing–either directly or indirectly through various educational institutions and general media. After all, they emphatically pronounce (in various forms) a purely natural self-generating universe.
So the majesty of this relatively common scene that you might show students or your children one day with your own telescope or your own book is limited to this: an artifcial and temporary appreciation–providing no lasting purpose or lesson for an individual life. Of course, a parent or teacher cannot be quite so blunt all at once since the child might be overcome with the pointless nature of it all. You may object and say, “but it’s the science of discovery!” Discovery of what? A meaningless and pointless universe by chance that extends to the personal lives of your children? Then, why is science so special? Why bother?
On the other hand, the God of the Bible says the stars are signposts. They point to God’s qualities but also stand as an exhibition of created things, which is the point of the scripture included in the drawing. It is one of many that say the same thing. He says that what we see is not meaningless, did not happen on its own, and pulls us to seek Him. Further, God has purposes, He has purposes for us, and we can choose to seek the creator of M65, M66, NGC 3628, or any other created object in the heavens.
So when you see these galaxies or a similar sight, can you see? Can you really see? Is it a pointless universe or one that is created by God for a purpose?
All of us deal with the same evidence of things before us but our worldview determines whether we are meaningless (but spend a lifetime inventing some temporary purpose the make us feel better) or we have meaning (determined by the Creator, who is accessible).
There is not much middle ground to be found. So if you teach your children they have purpose but you really have none because the universe is self generating over time, then you are teaching what you do not believe. As they grow older, they will discover the dichotomy. So be prepared to find some way to explain yourself, because they very well may lose heart in the middle of their own circumstances. What anwer will you have for their dilemma with no larger purpose and creator? Will it satisfy their longing heart to say “be good and have purpose for a few years, then return to star dust and random molocules”? If you have this view, I suggest another. A Biblical worldview is purposeful, makes sense of broken things, but also provides hope for the soul.
Consider the radical statements of the Bible. They include matters of creation but extend to every soul that will call upon God. They also empower meaningful observing or observing with a larger purpose: to know the God of Creation.