Thoughts That Outnumber the Sand

I have been having serious Kiefer Sutherland withdrawals ever since 24 ended, so I was excited to learn that he was starring in a new show in 2012. The pilot for this show, Touch, aired last week, and two more episodes have been scheduled for this season. I thought this introduction to the series was fairly engaging; it started in medias res with a brief narration from the gifted youngster, Jake,  who sees all then skips to the airport where the cell phone that ties the secondary and tertiary characters together is first located by Martin Bohm (played by Sutherland).

A Chambered Nautilus. Image from seasky.com

The opening voice over is actually quite interesting. In it, Jake explains the precise ratio of the universe (1:1.68) and the subtle laws of behavior and patterns that govern all things from seashells to humankind. Only a few people, he claims, can see the patterns and can intervene in such a way to make sure the people whose lives need to “touch” can do so.

I found myself intrigued because the child’s observation is half correct. The universe does have a system of rules that keep it operating harmoniously. There are indeed patterns and rules, and each and every one of them points to divine engineering, a master Craftsman. Scientists have many names for this amazing power, but I simply call Him almighty God. Where the show takes a wrong turn is when it states the child can see and understand all things through numbers. It is true that some gifted people can see portions of the grand design in that way, but no human is capable of discerning all the intricacies of the universe.

The “Eye of God Nebula.” Image from Geekologie.com

Fox, the network airing this show, describes Touch as, “A drama that blends science and spirituality to explore the hidden connections which bind together all of humanity.” Ah, “spirituality”–that catchy word used by those who are willing to admit that there is a power in the cosmos greater than they are but who refuse to recognize Him as God for some reason. “I’m spiritual” must be easier on the ears than “I’m religious” for some. After all, there is some Eastern flavor to the former, an aura of enlightenment that places one on a higher plane of existence. And isn’t that what most people are searching for—a way to set themselves apart while simultaneously defining the world from their perspective?

Why is that somehow preferable to recognizing that one has a Maker, One through whom all things were created? I suppose recognizing God means subordinating yourself to His ultimate authority, and many people balk at the idea that their lives are not their own to live as they see fit.

Many people enjoy the concept of the “red thread” mentioned in this show, the one that, according to a Chinese proverb (note the Eastern influence), binds all people together. However, this is only true when it involves wonderful things like the path the cell phone takes in the pilot episode. They refuse to recognize it when that pattern compels them to do something they are unwilling to do or give up something to which they’ve become partial. Then words like “logic” and “fate” come into play instead.

The other interesting scene takes place between Bohm and a man named Arthur Teller (played by Danny Glover). The clip I transcribed below is available through Hulu/IMDB. Click the link if you would like to see the scene or watch the full episode.

***

Arthur Teller: The universe is made up of precise ratios and patterns….all around us. You and I, we don’t see them, but, if we could, life would be magical beyond our wildest dreams. A quantum entanglement of cause and effect where everything and everyone reflects on each other. Every action, every breath, every conscious thought…connected. Imagine the unspeakable beauty of the universe he sees! No wonder he doesn’t talk.

Martin Bohm: My son sees all that?

Teller: Mr. Bohm, your son sees everything. The past, the present, the future–he sees how it’s all connected.

Bohm: You’re telling me my son can predict the future?

Teller: No. I’m telling you, it’s a road map, and your job now, your purpose, is to follow it for him. It’s your fate, Mr. Bohm. It’s your destiny.

***

Image from smileosmile.com

What he’s speaking of is the omnipotence, omnipresence, and omniscience of God, and it would be amazing to be able to view the world as He does. What’s exciting is that, one day, we will. For those who have accepted Jesus Christ as Savior, an eternity of seeing this beauty awaits. Our heavenly Father sees and understands these patterns because He created them! It is He who controls it all–everything from the orbit of planets to the breath that you and I draw each and every second, often unconsciously.

Image from geniusbeauty.com

He knew each and every one of us before we were even formed in our mothers’ wombs, and He desires that each and every one of us be reconciled to Him. Jesus Christ died for every single human being on this planet, but He would have done the same thing had it only saved me. Or you.

Yes, any one person would have been worth the cost of Calvary to Him. The extent of that love is so unfathomable that my heart aches when I dwell on it. You and I matter that much to the God who created a universe we have yet to fully fathom. Why would anyone want to live without Him? Isn’t a God who is willing to do that worth serving, worth laying one’s life down for? He certainly is to me.

Image from ptialaska.com

What the creators of this show fail to understand is that every one of us actually can see the patterns, the intricacies of our beautiful world. His handiwork is all around us from the glory and perfect harmony of a coral reef to the amazingly intricate structure of weather patterns. Even our bodies are absolute marvels of creation, yet we take them for granted and refuse to see the hand of God in them!

The sun, moon, and stars. The changing of seasons. Flowers of every shape and color. The symphony of birds’ songs. The scent and flavor of an orange. All of these wonderful experiences are ways in which you and I can perceive and commune with God. There is no need for mathematical analysis or cold abstraction with our heavenly Father, for He has made Himself more than apparent to us if we will only take the time to look.

This truth is what David praised in Psalm 139:

13 For You formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;
16 Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.

17 How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand.
When I awake, I am still with You.

That is the God who has already touched my life and yours, and He alone is our purpose.

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10 thoughts on “Thoughts That Outnumber the Sand

  1. FANTASTIC post! One of my favorites so far (although a LOT of what you write is quite good! :-)) & like you I’ve been having Keither Sutherland withdrawals as well since 24 ended, haha! Thanks for bringing this show to my attention. And thanks for taking the time to compare such Hollywood “spirituality” with the eternal Word of God. God bless you always!

    1. Wow! Thanks! I just had the thought running around in my head for the past few days. At first, I was encouraged that something that even hinted at the Almighty would be on television, but the more I dwelt on it, the more I realized that they are again trying to make a god of man. Half truth is false just as partial obedience to God is truly disobedience. Thank you so much for reading and for leaving your kind words!

    1. I really do wish I was better at math. I have no doubt it would open up all kinds of avenues of understanding for me. However, I shall have to stick with words…. Thanks for sharing this, Jim. It is very clear and understandable, even for the mathematically challenged.

      1. I know the feeling… got as far as calculus in college and discovered that math is not my strong suit, either. Much happier dealing with words — they’re much more flexible and more widely recognized, but beware: they can be just as unforgiving!

  2. Ah, yes, that ubiquitous word, “spiritual.” And you said, ” I suppose recognizing God means subordinating yourself to His ultimate authority, and many people balk at the idea that their lives are not their own to live as they see fit.” I think you nailed it. Good post. I haven’t seen the show, and was thinking about it. Now, I’m not sure I want to.

    1. It is a cool idea, and I do like the idea of us all being connected. It is true, in a way, after all. 🙂 Still, for those who don’t understand the truth of God, it’s too hazy.

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