Published on October 20, 2018
The other afternoon, I walked to the library through the glorious autumn. I crossed High Street and burst through the doors, anxious to get out of eyesight of the creepy man sitting on the curb staring at me as I approached.
Inside the library, a small drama was unfolding. Center stage was a woman and two police officers.
“He doesn’t really have any right to talk to me,” the woman said.
“No he doesn’t,” the policemen agreed.
“I was just trying to help her because she’s homeless,” the woman continued.
“Don’t walk out to your car alone,” one of the librarians advised across the counter.
Apparently, the librarians either had been part of the scene or weren’t accustomed to law enforcement in their space, because two of them were staring, almost open-mouthed, at the scene. Finally, one roused herself and motioned for me to come to her.
“Looks like you’re having some excitement,” I said. “I’m just here to pick up an audio book.”
The audio book had been ordered for me from another library in the system that was available to me through my library card. I love our library and I’m amazed at the services it offers for free. I know we pay taxes but this is a very good use of them, in my opinion.
Every now and again, I am overcome with gratitude that I live in an orderly civil world. It’s a world where audio books can be ordered for free, and where kindly police officers assist women who are in trouble. It’s a world where people (mostly) obey traffic lights and the streets are labeled and logical (with the exception of our immediate neighborhood). Its a world where time can be kept by the arrival of the garbage truck every Thursday morning at 6:30am.
A few weeks ago, though, I ran across something even more impressive. I was writing a few scenes for my book, set in 1713. I was working with sunrise, and the appearance of the moon, and I was making things up that seemed logical to me. Suddenly, I thought, I wonder if I can find the actual time of sunrise in London on November 20, 1713?
With a few strokes of my computer keys, the time came up. November 20, 1713. London sunrise, 7:25am. I added this to my chapter.
In my next scene about the moon, I did another search. I found that at any given point in the life of my character who lived 300 years ago, I could identify what phase the moon was in that night.
Isn’t this amazing? I also found that the moon’s path across the sky only repeats every 18 years. So astronomers who wanted to map the sky in the 1600s and 1700s were in for the long haul. But, springing from their early work, it is entirely possible to unwind the track of the moon. Not just years or decades back, but centuries.
Is this a triumph of the internet age? Yes, but I would like to suggest that this is even more a triumph of the intelligent design evident in the universe.
Because we are made in the image of this vastly superior Creator, at least some of the world reflects this logic, this order. Our cities are orderly and beautiful, despite being pock marked by sin’s epidemic.
We can imitate our Creator’s work and we can create things ourselves, like he did.
But no one can match Him!