Two unique devices have come on line recently. One looks deeply within, and the other looks
farther out than ever before.
A ribbon cutting ceremony at the new Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB) at Michigan State University was attended by two governors, both of Michigan’s U.S. senators and several congressmen. It must be important. This $800 million facility includes an accelerator which propels atomic nuclei of any stable element to half the speed of light, resulting in collisions that produce rare isotopes that, until now, were only found in the cosmos. It has taken over five years to build. In order to work, the magnetic structures are cooled down to near absolute zero, 4 degrees Kelvin – approximately - 452 Fahrenheit. The scientists hope rare isotopes at FRIB can lead to scientific discoveries that are bound to change society and improve lives. Nuclear science research already has led to the development of technologies such as MRI and PET scans, smoke alarms and cell phone technology.
On the other hand, NASA’s new James Webb Space Telescope has been launched to a stable orbit of about one million miles from earth. With its twenty-foot-wide beryllium-gold mirror, it enables astrophysicists to see far into the most distant space – stars and galaxies so distant their light has taken billions of years to reach us, so they can actually look back in time to observe the early universe, the evolution of galaxies through time, the lifecycle of stars, and other worlds. The Webb Space Telescope took many years for an international team to design and build, costing approximately $10 billion. Most of us will never understand these marvels of contemporary science. However, it strikes how humankind proceeds on its search for scientific knowledge; we look deeply inside and we look far far away.
As a follower of Jesus, I too must often look deeply within myself and poke into the deep corners of my soul to examine myself, my attitudes, my errors, my sin, my hopes and dreams. Otherwise, I will just go on without knowing what is needed and important. Then, when I have examined myself I must always turn to the great One who is beyond me, the Lord of the universe, Jesus himself, who shows me God and offers me the grace and truth I desperately need.
That examination of myself often seems expensive, and I am tempted to avoid it because it costs some pain or discomfort. But if I do follow through and then find that in Jesus there are all the spiritual resources to redeem and transform my life, the result is wonderful, again and again, as I discover the goodness of God.
Jesus said, “And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Mark 8:36 NLT
© 2022 Stanley Hagemeyer