Our physical lives exist in a very narrow place between two extremely thin veils. Full realization of this fact underscores how precious this gift of life really is.
We live in a realm that seems to burst with an abundance of life, especially at this time of the year in the northern hemisphere. But that throbbing, magnificent, incredible abundance of life can blind us to how small the step can be from life to death. A moment’s inattention at the wheel of a car. Or, in less time than the blink of an eye, a small piece of metal pierces the brain and stops all activity. Or, the breath and heartbeat, consistent and regular for ninety years, suddenly stop. One moment: life; the next, death.
How to ut through the blindness? A completely unexpected diagnosis of a brain tumor. News that a loved one has been in a car accident. A tiny infection spreads into the blood stream and someone hovers on the brink of death. Do you think your plans for the day might change? Events like these remind us how narrow this place we call “life” really is and how thin that veil is that separates us from death.
The narrow parameters of our physical life are reflected in the universe itself. Consider these facts:
The Earth tilts 23 degrees on its axis. Any slight alteration of that tilt would cause surface temperatures too extreme to support life.
The oxygen level in our atmosphere is 21%. At 25%, spontaneous fires would occur. At 15%, humans would be unable to breathe.
The centrifugal force of planetary movements perfectly balance gravitational forces. If that gravitational force was altered by 0.00000000000000000000000000000000000001 percent, our sun would not exist. And neither would we.
Atmospheric transparency, earth-moon gravitational interaction, carbon dioxide levels, even the speed of light—slight changes in any of 122 constants identified by physicists would preclude life as we know it.
This is one narrow place.
The God Who fixed the speed of light at 299,792,458 meters per second is the same God Who designed us. In His love, He’s given us this gift of physical life, a precursor to eternal life with Him. No one can say why. A loving father is generous with his gifts.
This physical life isn’t the most important thing in our existence. It’s neither our goal nor final destination. So let’s not confuse the gift for the Giver. Instead, let us look to the narrow place He’s given us to see the infinitely broad expanse of His love.
Let us thank God for the gift, to be sure. But also thank Him for the love that prompted the gift. Then let us use the gift, enjoy the gift, remembering all the while Who it was Who gave it to us.