Notice: I've taken a part-time job, and it's definitely affecting my blogging time. I'll continue to add content here as often as possible.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Off the Wall- Holy Atoms

I like to explore wild ideas which are not essential to my basic faith, and which may not even be valid, but they are always thought provoking.
man with glowing edges
Recycling is good. Recycling is GREAT. But this post is not about environmental topics, exactly. I did get to thinking a while back about the truth learned in a Solid Waste Management class that we can't ever make things go away, we just move them around. (Well, we can transform them, or compartmentalize them. But I promised that this is not on environmental issues.)

So, I was thinking about the atoms in the universe. They get recycled constantly. The oxygen molecule I breathe in probably was transformed by a plant from carbon dioxide, which might have been released by a bacteria that ate a molecule of some nasty pollutant, which stole the oxygen from the water column in a stream, which incorporated it from the atmosphere, which.... Well, you get the idea. I read once that every atom in our bodies is exchanged over a 3-year period. I really am a different person than I was 3 years ago!

There is some mysterious way in which we are so linked to all of creation that our attitudes toward God affect the natural world. Obedience to God will allow the trees to "clap their hands," and the hills to "skip for joy." (Isaiah 35:1-8 has an example of the response of the natural world to holiness) But when we sin, rebel, act deceitfully, or worship other gods, all creation responds with lowered production, or lowered resistance to pollution. (Jeremiah 7:17-20 is one example) Creation also suffers in our judgment.

The physical, atomic, material parts of us are real. God's creation of them granted them a reality. But as noted above this material universe is totally fluid. Is my big toe made up of an atom of the star Betelgeuse, one of elm bark, and another of leopard spots? More to the point, is the Mississippi River made up of atoms of me, Jesse James, Billy Graham, the Unibomber, and of you? Do these recycled atoms somehow mystically carry the imprint of my spirit?

Can I literally make the world a holy, or a godless place just by the nature of the atomic fairy dust I sprinkle everywhere?


vanilla said...

Nice melding of the profound and the fanciful. Well done, and thought provoking. (Of course, it's a bit early in the day for me to be thinking. ;)

Secondary Roads said...

Like Vanilla said. And yet it is a sobering thought. Okay it has a smiley face . . .

Sharkbytes (TM) said...

Vanilla- Yes, I don't think in the morning... I just schedule the post in the morning!

Chuck- I think there has to be some level of reality in this concept that we don't understand yet.