Did the sun ever stand still? The only day I know that the sun stands still is that fateful day in fall when we all fall back an hour. Where I live in Las Vegas, Nevada, it doesn’t help much. The sun sets by 4:30 pm here in Pacific Standard Time. Geographically I think we should be in Mountain Time, but putting us in the same time zone as California allows millions of Californians to come here and gamble on their schedule. Where is God when the government makes stupid choices? I think I know where God is. He is looking down at us and laughing.
“He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.” Psalm 2:4
Of course, governments have done a lot worse things than create poorly drawn time zones. I can hear God now saying, “You Las Vegans want all those folks from California to come to Vegas and gamble. How about developing some other industries there? Then you could demand to be in the Mountain Time Zone, and have more daylight to run your business.”
Just think what might happen if Las Vegas became so Christian that no one gambled anymore? I suddenly start getting flashbacks of an ancient city called Ephesus. You can read the whole story in Acts 19. It’s the scary stuff riots are made of. The big business in Ephesus was making silver statues of the goddess Diana. When the majority of Ephesians became Christians, there was no market for the silver idols. Voila, economic disaster!
So I start yelling at God, “Those Californians aren’t going to visit here if we shut down the casinos. Can’t you just do a miracle and make the sun stand still?”
“Paula,” God replies, “that ain’t the way it works.”
“But, God, you did it once or twice before. You stopped the sun, so Joshua could win a war. You sent the sundial back for Hezekiah. Can’t you just make the government officials put us in Mountain Standard Time? How about a miracle? Please, make the sun stand still.”
I think hear God laughing at me. He says, “I set up the universe to work. You humans call it science. Your car is designed to run on gas. Just try putting water in the gas tank. Hey, there’s an idea! You could invent a car that runs on water and manufacture it in Las Vegas. Um, maybe a car that runs on air, since you don’t have a lot of water there? I gave you a brain. Use it. I wouldn’t dream of making the sun stand still. Such an event could destroy the whole earth.”
Now God brings up another good point. “Paula, you taught English, so you know what a figure of speech is. The tribes at the time of Joshua used an expression, ‘the sun stood still,’ when they won a battle. It was the metaphor of the time to mean that God was on their side. If you look at the history of my people, clearly I was on their side. Even when they left me to worship idols, I cried for them and sent prophets to win them back. My children, my dear children have left me so many times, but I have brought them back.”
Suddenly I realized that this whole conversation with God was not about whether the sun stood still. It was certainly not about us getting more daylight in Las Vegas. Instead it was about what God did to save us from the darkness – how he loved us so much “that he gave his only begotten son.” That did involve a miracle—the resurrection of Christ. What is the science back of returning a dead body to life? One man told of seeing the hole in Jesus’ side where he had been pierced with a spear. Witnesses told of seeing Jesus eating food. Many watched as he rose into the clouds.
When I try to sort all this out, I feel like I am driving on a roundabout with folks in the back seat telling me I should get off at the Myth exit, or the Metaphor exit, or the Miracle exit. The atheists yell loudly that it doesn’t matter which road I exit, as long as I don’t bug them about it. The Miracle pushers want me to believe the sun stood still—literally. They say it is intelligent to believe the creation days were all twenty-four hours, and that the sun stood still a few thousand years later.
Personally, I choose the Miracle exit—that is the miracle that God is watching us from a distance, and, ineffably, from within every molecule in the universe. I believe God was in the Higgs Boson; yes, it really was the God particle. But it was not God. God is everywhere, in everything, and yet we are not God. God is watching us from a distance and from within.
The Lord looketh from heaven; he beholdeth all the sons of men. Psalm 33:13