If I asked, “How fast are you moving?” you might reply that you are sitting still. However, don’t forget that you are sitting on a planet that is spinning on its axis. A fixed observer in space would say that you are moving with the planet’s rotation at up to 1000 miles per hour if you are close to the equator. At the same time, Earth is revolving around the Sun at roughly 66,000 miles per hour. The Sun is one of 100 billion stars rotating around a black hole at the core of the Milky Way galaxy at approximately 400,000 miles per hour. Meanwhile, the galaxy is moving through space at around 2,200,000 miles per hour. So, how fast are you moving when viewed from a fixed point in space?
The amazing thing about the creation is that each of these numbers is critical for our survival. The spin of the Earth on its axis distributes heat in a way that we are not frozen or burned up. The revolution around the Sun keeps us from being drawn into the Sun or slung into outer space and frozen. The movement of the Sun around the galactic core prevents the black hole at the center of our galaxy from sucking in the entire solar system and destroying it. The galaxy’s movement through space prevents it from being absorbed by another galaxy. The speeds are critically fine-tuned because there is no tolerance for error.
As astronomers look at other solar systems and galaxies, they see the speeds that allow us to exist are not that common in space. The simple statement of Psalms 19 that “the heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above shows His handiwork” reminds us that we are not the product of an accident. The more we learn about the cosmos, the more obvious it becomes that our existence is a product of intelligent design.
The psalmist also reminds us of the astonishing fact that the Creator cares about us. “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and stars which you have ordained, what is man, that you are mindful of him …” (Psalms 8:3-4). So how fast are you moving right now? Fast enough to exist and to know that there is a reason for that existence. Read Job 1 and 2 and Ephesians 3:9-11 and 6:12 to learn more about that reason.
— John N. Clayton © 2022