By Lynn Paris
UFOs and God
My husband and I were channel surfing the other night and happened upon The Larry King Show, which was devoted entirely to the subject of UFOs. I would have kept on going, UFOs having never been my thing, but my husband found it intriguing so we watched for a while. Eventually, I got hooked too, not so much by the subject as by the nature of the debate.
What had happened was that a large number of people in a small Texas town had sighted a huge, extremely bright object in the sky, one that seemed to hover over a particular spot and was totally silent, even when it “took off” to go to another spot beyond their vision. Everyone who’d seen the thing described it the same way; it was glowing, ten times the size of any possible kind of aircraft known to exist, and it made no noise.
That brought up a sighting that had occurred in Arizona in 1997, which ten thousand people had allegedly witnessed, and many had described as at least a mile long, totally silent, and shaped like a boomerang. Two seemingly sane and credible women described the event, making it clear that the idea of it being a UFO hadn’t even crossed their minds when they reported it; they just wanted to know what the heck it was!
The Ufologists on the show believed that these sightings at least warranted more investigation and certainly proved the possibility of their point. The representative scientist, an astronomer who was not particularly convincing in his explanations of what it could have been, still managed to remain completely rigid in the face of the observers’ sightings, insisting that there was no scientific evidence to back them up. Period. And the observers, who had no vested interest in UFOs and were neither believers or skeptics, but just curious about what it was they’d seen, were left without answers.
All of which caused our active little minds to think of God. First of all, there was something about the scientist that irked me throughout the program. Which was strange, because I don’t believe in UFOs, so I should have been on his side. Still, his smug insistence that there was no way these sightings could have anything but a rational scientific explanation bothered me because, I realized, he reminded me so much of every skeptic I’ve ever tried to have a conversation with concerning God. His mind was completely closed. I, at least, was willing to listen to the UFO proponents.
Believers have sometimes wondered why God doesn’t just perform an irrefutable miracle, or send a clear signal of His existence so that all doubt about Him ceased. After all, it’s been 2000 years since He tried it the last time. Of course, since God is timeless, or above and beyond time, it’s quite possible that 2000 years means nothing to Him; it could be the same as a minute is to us. Maybe in God’s mind it’s not even close to the time when He plans to send another sign (IF He plans to at all); it could be another 10,000 years for all we know. Others believe that His signs are all around us, evident if you but open your eyes. What more do you need than the starry skies and the majestic mountains and the human eye and mind to believe in the divine?
But many demand something much more tangible, like a UFO landing in the middle of Wyoming with all its alien passengers disembarking, being examined by medical doctors and scientists and doing TV interviews that are beamed live by satellite around the world. For me, it would take something like that to accept the notion of UFOs.
And God could DO that. He could fully reveal Himself any way He wanted to, if He wanted to. The question is; what would that do to faith? Because only those who both seek God and are open to the possibility of finding Him—in a church, doing yoga, on a hilltop, in prayer, in themselves—only those who are seekers of the divine seem able to recognize a glimpse of the divine. If the need for faith were suddenly wiped away by irrefutable proof, then all we’d have left is fact. And while fact is wonderful for doing mathematical equations or scientific experiments, it is hardly the stuff of which dreams are made.
Without faith, there’s no place for our hearts and minds to soar. Faith is what sparks our souls to transcend the ordinary and reach, in fact leap, for the extraordinary. That, I believe, is why God will leave things just the way they are; He doesn’t want to take away our faith.
Without faith, there’s no hope of something better.
me your opinions at LParis@netlistings.com