Is the World Hollow?

May 27, 2011

There is a classic episode of Star Trek where the Enterprise encounters a rather strange, large asteroid careening through space.  Beeming down to the surface, Captain Kirk and his team discover that the rock is actually a large spaceship in disguise.  It is the home of an entire civilization of people, whose ancestors had constructed the ship as a lifeboat ten thousand years earlier when their home planet was on the brink of destruction.  The ship was created to look and feel like their home planet on the inside, with an open sky and changing atmosphere, so that one doesn’t feel like one is on a ship at all.  It seems so real, in fact, that over the millennia the origins of the ship have been forgotten, and the current descendants don’t even realize that they are on a ship at all!

So on the one hand you have the Enterprise crewmen, who with their own eyes have seen the vastness of the cosmos, and on the other hand this people who believe that their small world is all that exists!  How are Kirk and his friends to share the truth about the universe?  To the inhabitants of the ‘asteroid,’ such a concept would be unthinkable and seem like a fairy tale.  This is the world that they have always known.  They are completely satisfied with it; there seems to be nothing lacking.  They are born, grow up, toil, and die, all without ever knowing that there is an entire universe beyond their world, that their world is just a tiny speck of creation!

It seems to me that we here are Earth aren’t too different from the people on the “Hollow World.”  Here we are on this planet, which was created by God especially for us.  In the beginning, our first parents had great intimacy and knowledge of God.  They knew that the beautiful world around them was only a small thing compared to the infinite beauty of the God who created them.  And yet, countless generations later, it is easy for us as human beings to lose this intimacy with God.  We can quite easily look around at the universe, with our eyes or through telescopes, and think, “This world is all that there is.  There is nothing in more in existence than what we can see, touch, or measure.”

The truth is that the material world is just one little speck of that which exists, compared to the infinite greatness of God and the countless spiritual creations he has made.  If we could see as God sees, we would realize that the whole universe would easily fit in the palm of his hand, so to speak.  As beautiful and wonderful as this world is, it is only a small appetizer of the great beauty and wonder found in God.  If we think that this world is all that exists, we’re as mistaken as the asteroid people who don’t realize that there’s a whole universe to be explored outside of the wall of their ship!

Thankfully, God’s love for us is so great that he wasn’t content to let us just forget about him.  He entered into the world and became one of us, so greatly did he desire to reveal himself to us.  People had a hard time believing Jesus’s message, just like the people didn’t believe good old Captain Kirk when he was telling them that their whole world was not as it seemed.  To help them believe, Jesus gave proofs through his teachings and through his miracles.  The greatest was his resurrection from the dead, which showed once and for all that Jesus was who he claimed to be.  It is proof that there is an even greater reality than what we can see and touch; and through Jesus you and I can begin to experience right now the infinite beauty and wonder to be found in God!

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