An odd thought-process occupied my mind as I drove into Los Angeles the other day. It started as I was inching my way along I-5, and I thought about how crazy it is that we can simply check the flow of traffic on interactive maps while we “drive” (quotation marks owing to LA traffic). Then I looked out over this mass of concrete and humanity and thought—somehow all of this data is flowing through the air, filling our atmosphere, and landing inside of our cell phones.
And then my mind blew a fuse. The entire internet is blowing in the wind. It’s invisible and everywhere. It’s in the air I breathe. As I looked out over Los Angeles, everything I could see was filled with invisible data—anything you want to know about anything. But it wasn’t just “out there.” All of this data was also passing through my brain, my heart, and my liver. It’s doing the same thing now, in my office, as I write.
In my primitive understanding, cell phone data works in the same way as sound, light, satellite television, and wifi. It all travels through the air in waves, different frequencies carrying different bits of light, sound, or data. I have a hard time getting my mind around it (I haven’t even done a Wikipedia search on the topic), but somebody knows how and why it works. In other words, there’s a perfectly clear scientific explanation for why our atmosphere is filled with Google, episodes of I Love Lucy, blog posts, radio talk shows, and who knows what else.
But being able to explain it hardly makes it less miraculous. The fact that we can explain it, at least in a certain sense, only adds to the miracle. Not only did God make a brilliant world, he made us with brilliant minds that can question and explain such phenomena.
God made a world in which data can fly invisibly across continents. Our very air, the atmosphere we look through in order to see all of the objects around us, is constantly hosting light, sound, and information. And the world, from the moment God spoke it into existence, has always been capable of this. Our atmosphere has always served as a freeway for light and sound, but not until very recently in world history have human beings thought to send radio signals, phone calls, and cell phone data through the air. But God designed the world so that it could. To put it in perspective, had Abraham been a techie, he could have labored to develop the technology to text message Lot.
I know my thought process is odd, but I think the basic point is something we all experience from time to time: This world is full of wonder! We take it for granted that we can see, hear, smell, taste, and touch. And yet how miraculous is each of these senses! What incredible gifts from the Creator! How is it that God allows us to walk through this world that plays host to so many wonders—constantly surrounding us, each truly unbelievable, and yet rarely acknowledged by human beings, enlightened creatures that we are?
We see the world around us every day, but only occasionally are we given the gift of seeing the world in all God’s glory. Our necessary familiarity with life makes us numb to the miracle of it all. Light and heat pour out of the sun and saturate our world, giving it life, making it inhabitable and enjoyable. Wind sweeps through our cities, unseen but powerful in its presence. Flowers bloom, leaves fall, clouds collect, birds sing—and rarely do we give a moments’ notice.
But the more we can learn to be amazed by the world God created and thereby be amazed by God himself, the healthier we will be. So there is one good thing, at least, that came out of LA traffic. Who knows what you can find on your daily commute or anywhere else?