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Big Bang

By Phyllis Nissila

Scientists have begun very expensive high tech experiments to try to discover what happened at the so-called Big Bang when the sub-atomic explosions that powered the universe are theorized to have occurred.

But there’s more.

When protons collide at a force of 14 trillion electron volts, the goal of the experiments at the Large Haldron Collider in Geneva, observers hope to also re-create in miniature what was brewing even before the explosions; they hope to crack the code of creation, because scientists, like believers, agree on some initial source.

Whether all things known proceeded from the literal mouth of God, or from the mouth of some other potent force, both groups agree: something of unimaginable magnitude took place.

I can imagine that God is smiling in all this and that he is excited.

I imagine He takes delight in our spirit of adventure, inquiry, and perseverance and that He enjoys our finally discovering the treasures He’s embedded in creation.

I imagine He might be excited about how much closer we are getting to evidence of the Evidence which will cause many more to set aside ideology and consider Deity.

And I believe that as close as we might be getting to witnessing a replication of the primal event that got us from there to here, that other powerful force—free will (our own power to create and destroy)—will remain intact.

For even as there will be those who see a dead man raised to life and will still not believe in God (Luke 16:31), there will be those (perhaps in our generation) who might witness a simulation of the very ground floor of existence, view evidence of a plan (and a Planner) and still not believe.

Free will will remain free.

We will still get to choose: Designer or random action? Creator or inexplicable phenomenon? God or some physics puzzle yet to be deciphered?

And in that freedom to choose is the grandest force of all: the power that drives the universe, positioned the planets, and frees our imagination: love. Of the severest kind.

The kind that permits us to choose life or death, light or dark, Theos or theory.

The kind that grieves the loss of a sparrow, yet gives it flight.

The kind that does not force its way, but makes a way.

The kind of love that engineered this mysterious, magnificent, mega-watt universe then placed us in it with both ability and desire to find out what makes it tick while other species look on.

And as we get ever closer to catching, perhaps, a literal glimpse of the Big Bang, I imagine God’s smile as more of the “created” look to the Creator for the first time and consider the ultimate choice: God or …?

I imagine His excitement when more of us make the choice for good or ill, the choice that powers spiritual life, the choice made possible through the sacrifice of His own Son, Jesus Christ. The choice possible today.

Consider the power—and gift—of free will.

©2008 Phyllis M. Nissila. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Phyllis is an award-winning former newspaper columnist. She has had numerous devotionals published in The Quiet Hour(Cook Communications), Pathways to God (Warner Press), and Standard Publishing’s Devotions. She has also written inspirational articles for Sunday Digest, Virtue, Vista, Live, Seek, Standard, Our Family and Herald of Holiness magazines. She teaches high school and community college literature and writing classes (among others) in Eugene, Oregon, and has taught in the field of special education. She holds a B.A. from George Fox University, and an M.A. in humanities from California State University. She has two grown daughters, and lives with her husband in Springfield, Oregon.