current events

Total Eclipse of the Heart

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Today is the day of the solar eclipse. Countless people across America have been waiting for. My aunt got on a plane to fly 4 hours to view it. Like many, I’m excited to safely view this phenomenon. But I’ve noticed that my excitement stems from a different place than my colleagues, and most people documenting or speaking of their excitement.

I’ve read descriptions of the numbers of people who will be stopping everything to watch the phenomenon, to see something they’ll never see again, to experience something completely new and awesome that will connect them with the broader universe in a way that’s not been possible until today. People so deeply desire to experience something outside of this present world. My wife, who stays home with our two babies, does not have that excitement. She normally puts the babies to nap from 1pm to 4pm—the time of the eclipse—and plans on trying to snag a nap. I would too if I were the one spending all my waking hours with two active small children.

My wife likes astronomical events as much as the next person, but the nationwide freak out has turned her off to the thing. People are seeking an experience that will bring a certain cosmic sensation, all the while missing out on the daily opportunity to literally speak with and get to know the Creator of the phenomenon itself.

It’s awesome that a total solar eclipse is going to occur across the contingent United States, but find it infinitely more awesome that when I woke up this morning at 3:45am I was able to speak to the God that made it possible, and makes possible billions upon billions of similar phenomenon across the universe. I was able to open my Bible to Romans 1 and hear from this universe’s Maker. He reminded me that He made all things. He revealed His power and glorious attributes in His creation clearly and distinctly. Yet, we subsequently exchanged His truth (that He graciously created the world for us to steward and enjoy for His glory) for a lie (that creation is worthy of worship).

Please don’t misunderstand me; I will be enjoying the eclipse, Lord willing. Not simply because it’s a rare beautiful occurrence, but because God has through creation displayed His power and divine nature so that we all are without excuse.

When/if you look up today, you’ll be witnessing the power and nature of an awesome Creator. A Creator that loved us, and I know He will be delighting in His children looking up and enjoying the beauty He was gracious enough to allow us to enjoy. Unfortunately, that will not be how most are viewing the eclipse; they will be serving the creation rather than the Creator.

If you’re viewing this eclipse with unbelievers, use it as an opportunity to declare God’s glory, to tell people of His awesome creating work and His more awesome saving work. Tell the story of the universe. Speak the truth in love, because they need it. Millions of souls will be watching this eclipse, and more than an experience with the cosmos, they need an experience with Christ who alone can give peace to the lost and seeking soul.

As the Psalmists writes in Psalm 146:6,

He is the maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them—he remains faithful forever.

Image Credit: By Schnuffel2002 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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Topher Thomas

Topher is an Earth and Environmental Science Teacher in Durham, NC. He is a graduate of Southeastern with an M.A. in Christian Education with Biblical Counseling. He is married to Abigail, and father to Violet and Margot.

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