Caught up by the view

Published 9:05 pm Friday, December 25, 2009

My daughter Tammy invited her mother and me to share their family vacation near Panama City, Fla. One night, we rode bikes to a large deck overlooking the ocean.

Tammy, Jay and my grandsons were going to explore the beach. “I will stay here and enjoy this beautiful sight,” I told them.

The moon was above the horizon, shining bright against a background of dark sky and black sea, interrupted only by the moon’s reflection, like thousands of white sparkling diamonds dancing on the water. It was so stunning it made my heart soar.

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A few minutes later, when the kids were back, I said, “Sit down. Granddad wants to talk to you.

“When I was in high school, scientists claimed the universe was eternal — no beginning and no end. Now, the Big Bang Theory is popular. That’s right — God spoke, and ‘Bang!’ everything was created.

“If you could travel to the very deepest place in the ocean, what would you find?” No one answered. “You would find God,” I said. “If it were possible to go to the end of the universe, He would be there, and He is with us tonight and has given us this breathtaking sky to enjoy.

“If the moon were much closer to the Earth, what would our planet be like? Gravity would be so strong that on high tide, a wall of water thousands of feet high would wash across the face of the earth, killing everything in its path.

“Our Earth is tilted on its axis at just the right angle to create seasons. Without the tilt, half the Earth would always be in winter and extremely cold. The other half would be in perpetual summer and very hot.

“If our Earth were much closer to the sun or much farther away, what kind of life would we have?”

Nick, my 10-year-old grandson, quickly answered, “There would be no life; it would be too hot or too cold.”

“That’s right,” I replied. “To protect us, God in his wisdom has placed a shield in our solar system. It’s Jupiter, whose huge size and super-strong gravity acts like a huge vacuum cleaner that sucks up space debris — even comets and asteroids — that could destroy the Earth.

“Many scientists have finally acknowledged our solar system has a design, but most refuse to recognize the Designer. Kids, the designer and creator of everything you see is a Person we all know. We celebrate His birth every Christmas. Can we thank Him for what he’s done?”

All six of us began shouting, “Thank you, Jesus! Thank you, Jesus.”

The next day, we were relaxing on the beach when Jay, my son-in-law, said, “Dad, your daughter is very concerned about you. She didn’t sleep well last night. Is there anything wrong?”

“Why would you ask such a question?” I replied. “Well, normally you don’t talk the way you did last night,” he said.

“Tammy, come over here,” I called. “There’s nothing wrong with me. After experiencing the view last night, if a person doesn’t praise God, there is something wrong with him!”

“All things were made by him, and without him was not anything made that was made.” — John 1:3