The Push Pull Predicament

My wife, Lauri Lee, and I are big fans of the hit TV show, “The Big Bang Theory.” For me, there is a lot to like about this sitcom, including the fantastic theme song written and performed by The Barenaked Ladies (the band…not real ladies without clothes). BTW..if you have not heard the full song..check it’s really quite clever!! The interaction of the four main characters, all geeky brainiacs led by the two “chief geeks,” Sheldon and Leonard, and the women who love them (ok…maybe tolerate is a better word), make for a fun and witty brand of humor that offers the scriptwriters endless geeky questions to be explored, not unlike the universe we exist in, physically.

One of the other fun tidbits that add to the allure of the show is the episodes titles. They all sound very scientific or “tekkie-like” in that they sound like the name of a type of experiment or theory. Some of my favorites were “The Comic-Con Conundrum” “The Hawking Excitation”and “The Maternal Combustion.” So, naturally, I felt as compelled as a rock floating through outer space to choose a name for this post that could have easily “fit the mold” as one of their episode titles. Who knows? If the scriptwriters read this blog, it could be one for next season. I can already see, in my brain, how it might play out. Sheldon is apparently being pushed by some of his peers in the scientific world to take a position with more noteriety, probably at a university on the East Coast (maybe MIT?), while the gang tries to pull him back towards staying in California. In the end, he finally tells them it was all a joke with his signature snarky outburst….BAZINGA!!!

The storylines, of course, come mostly from a “scientific mindset” leaving little or no room for any plot points regarding questions of a Creator God or Intelligent Design. But that’s OK, it’s just a TV show. However, I would not jump too quickly to the conclusion that the concepts of “science” and “intelligent design” are somehow unconnected or “polar opposites.” There are actually far more “common threads” between the two than you might expect. For instance, this whole subject of “pushing and pulling” is one area where you might think the two fields of study were reading from the same book. Both are filled with plenty of examples of opposing forces working in concert, together, to achieve a greater good…crazy as that might seem.

One of the things that is happening more and more, nowadays, but is not being widely reported (for obvious reasons), is that many of the recent discoveries, due to technological advancement and the hard work of real research, have strengthened the case for intelligent design, not weakened it. Even Stephen Hawking (who actually has a reoccurring cameo role on this show, playing himself of course) now admits that Intelligent Design is “highly probable,” although he won’t go as far as suggesting what the source of the intelligence might it a god, a alien life form or whatever. But, at least, he now concedes that “something cannot appear out of nothing” and that is a big step, for sure.

One of the more popular chapters in my book, “Unlocking Creation,” centers around a discussion about the two main forces that exist in the universe which have held things like suns, moons and planets in place and in a fixed orbit for as far back as we can measure time and beyond. And it appears that these two forces need to oppose one another in proper proportion for things to work as they were designed to. Say what? 

Here is what I wrote in Chapter Two of my book…a chapter called “Starry, Starry Night”:

So, we have a universe consisting of many galaxies. These galaxies have solar systems orbiting around inside them, each with a sun (which we would call a star) shining in the sky. Then each star, or sun, has planets rotating around it and each planet may have one or more moons orbiting around it. And all of these orbiting entities are on a pre-determined and constant path around the next bigger space rock. If you are like me, right about now, your head is spinning like a planet. In fact, I am getting a little dizzy!

Say “Hello” to gravity, which has now become the sworn enemy of dieters and folks who are aging everywhere. Gravity is what causes two masses to be drawn toward each other, or in the case of Earth’s gravitational pull, it causes things to be measurably drawn toward the center. It is why we can say some things weigh less or more. And you thought it had more to do with caloric intake or lack of exercise. Not so much, in the bigger picture of things.

We are not done here. Oh no, the equation also requires an equal and opposite effect, known as centrifugal force, that repels masses away from the center while gravity draws them toward the center. Push and pull. Isn’t it just like God to require two completely opposite powers to offset or balance one another, for things to work as they should?  “Oh, I don’t know, marriage comes to mind (he said, with a smile).” Remember that crazy comparison I made between the solar system and the atom? It should not be surprising that the same interaction between gravity and centrifugal force that keeps protons, neutrons and electrons offsetting each other, in a useful and orderly manner inside an atom, is the same interaction that keeps Saturn from smashing into Earth and sending us careening into the Sun, like an eight ball into the corner pocket. No assembly required. No tracks needed. And apparently no skyhooks available (to hang the planets from). But nothing is impossible with God, and He surely found a way to “Git R Done”, as Larry the Cable Guy would say. 

May the forces be with you.

There you have it…a real life, real time “Push Pull Predicament”. And it is one that not only has a scientific explanation to help make sense of it all, but a spiritual one, as well. I have said this before, many times, that if someone were to ask me to define what science is, I would say, “The analytical study of the things God has made.” Yes, there are natural and physical laws that govern the universe and everything in it. And they are more precise and reliable than the finest timepiece ever made by human hands. But who…or what made it so? 

As Mr. Hawking and others now agree, on both sides of the debate, something cannot appear out of nothing. So we can all be rest assured that someone or something caused it all to snap into place and has kept it “tick…tick…ticking along” for thousands of years that we know of, at least. If in fact there was a “big bang,” who or what lit the fuse (or made the fuse…for that matter)?  

Take a look around…we see day and night, waking hours and sleeping hours, food intake and waste elimination (’s all part of it), hot and cold, male and female, life and death (which some might say is a byproduct of male and female..just sayin’), faith and fear, angels and demons…and last but not least…good and evil, itself (that’s a biggie!!).

All of it leads to one giant question, in my mind. If God truly exists and if He, Himself, was the “intelligent designer,” why did He have to make everything so difficult? Why all the pain and suffering? Was all of this struggling and constant “pushing and pulling” necessary? My answer to that is, “Umm, yes and no.”

God’s original plan for us did not include all the anguish and opposing forces we now deal with in our lives. We have all heard of the Garden of Eden, I’m sure. The weather was great (heck they ran around naked all the time…it couldn’t have been too cold). The animals were friendly, not predators, and there was plenty of fruit and vegetation to feed on. Oh yeah, there was no sickness or death. So I would say God’s “Plan A” was pretty sweet and struggle-free. It does not appear that the Lord wanted His little ones to suffer.

But all that changed, of course, once Adam and Eve disobeyed Him and ate the forbidden fruit. But have no fear. God was not surprised by this at all and already had “Plan B” ready to roll. However, some nasty consequences came with it. Disobedience allowed “sin and death” into the picture and allowed for God’s enemy, Satan, to be permitted to become the tempter and persecuter of all mankind..for all generations…until the fullness of time had passed and the day of judgement arrives and God redeems those found to be worthy, through His Son, Jesus Christ.

The payoff, here I’d say, is God desires for us to seek Him and love Him deeply, and He always has. But once sin got a foothold through the deception of God’s enemy, there were now two opposing forces at work….one pulling us towards God..and the other trying to push us in the opposite direction…away from God. Giving into either force has it’s consequences. One offers eternal life with God. The other results in eternal death (or separation from God).

Not surprisingly, the Bible actually comments on this predicament:

“Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” [James 4:8] 

Yep, you guessed it. More push and pull going on there. So it seems, as with Adam and Eve, the Creator has given us a choice. 

Truth be told, I believe that is why we are brought into this world in the first place.

To “seek Him while He may yet be found.”


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