If you are a mom, a dad, a grandpa, a grandma, a big sister, a big brother, an uncle, an aunt, a pastor, a Sunday-school teacher, a Bible school teacher, or anyone else who wants to make a difference in early teenager’s lives, listen up. (I know that was a long sentence, but I wanted to get your attention.)
In fact, you could be a teen, and if you are, great! This is for you too. Actually this is really, really for you.
Well, what am I needing? Well, it has to do with a project I’m working on for the past year.
The early teens are years of questions, for the teen, the parent, and should I say for everyone else too? But mainly for the teens. They have questions, and if they don’t they should, I’m glad they do. Many books written for them are, well, let’s say, really, really boring. Even though many are easy to read, interest level of the reader is easily lost!
You see, anyone can write a book, that is the easy part. The hard part is to write it well. So that has been my task, writing a very important book. And write it well. My goal is pack this book (and maybe other books) full of relevant information while making it easy and enjoyable to read. Now that’s a tall order.
Okay, so the cats out of the bag. So here is the low down. Early teens have questions, but they want an enjoyable read (like everyone I guess). Let me show you a proposed chapter of the book. Now, be forgiving, please, it’s still the first draft. On the other hand, feel free to share your thoughts below. If you don’t want your comment public, I’ll have contact information at the end, if you would like to email me! I love hearing from my readers. Also, don’t forget to help name the book! See the link below. Enjoy one of the book’s chapters!
One Sunday, as we pulled into the church parking lot, we saw a cattle trailer sitting lonely at the edge of the lot. A cattle trailer is something that farmers use to transport cows in. Now, of all places, why would a cattle trailer be parked in a church parking lot? I’m sure you know what my first thought was, right? How about this “Ah, a cattle trailer just popped into existence right here in the parking lot, wow!”
No, of course not!
Maybe I thought “I think that cattle trailer just made itself right there in the parking lot, out of nothing.”
No, of course not!
What about this one “Last night, a hurricane whipped up some steel, wood and rubber and assembled the trailer in the lot.”
No, of course not!
I will have to say, that last comment would be a little hard since the parking lot was way inland, in the mid-west of the United States. This parking lot wasn’t beach-front property, not even close.
But we know better than all that, right? First we know that the cattle trailer was designed and made by a person or by a number of people. Second, we know that it’s owned by a person. Third, we know that someone brought it and dropped it off there. We rightly assume that the trailer’s existence and its location came about by a conscience person.
Well, I know you are wanting to know how it got there and why it was there, right? Before I tell you the rest of the story, however, let’s talk a little about a few more important topics. I’ll come back to the story when it’s the right time (this means the rest of the story will be in a few chapters, I’m sure you can wait, right?).
The Universe, The Where Question!
It’s not just cattle trailers that need makers and designers. We could say the same about soccer balls, silly putty, soap, shoes, shirts, skirts and spaghetti. Right? All of them needed designers, engineers, fabricators, programmers, cooks and the like to make them.
Now let’s go bigger. So what if we got all the cattle trailers in the world with all the soccer balls, silly putty, soap, shoes, shirts, skirts and spaghetti? And let’s add all the dodge-balls, dingoes, dingy-dirty dungarees, diamonds, dresses and even Dracula (but I guess he does not exist, sorry). Then we add all the dirt, rocks and water on the world. Yes, we have the earth now. Now let’s add our solar system and our galaxy and all the other galaxies into one big ball. What do you think we would call that?
We would call that the “universe” of course!
Let me remind you what we already know, simple things like cattle trailers don’t pop into existence without a prior cause. I know that you know that I know that you know that, right? Purple gorillas and pink elephants don’t pop into existence either (I know, they don’t exist). Paintings and music, fairy tales and novels, thoughts and memories, dreams and babies don’t either (surprise, surprise I know).
So what about the universe? Can that pop into existence without help? I don’t know of any reason why we would expect our universe to pop into existence without some cause too. Can you think of a reason?
Well, maybe the universe always existed? Now we have a way out from the universe having a maker, right? Well, almost no one, including scientists, believe that the universe always existed anymore. Everyone thinks there are good reasons to believe that it had a beginning.
For example, everything in the universe tends to get less and less ordered. We say that is an increase in entropy. In other words, if the universe would continue to exist for trillions of years more, someday everything will be the same temperature, or have the same amount of energy all over the place. In other words, life will no longer exist. Now don’t stress about it. If you were starting to stress about it, that will not happen in your lifetime.
There are other reasons too, which I don’t have time to get into right now. My main point is that the universe came into existence at a specific time in the past. Also, from our experience, things that come into existence have a cause.
So what was the cause of the universe to make it come into existence? Was it a person or some impersonal force? Let’s first try to understand the difference.
Who Or What Was The Universe Maker?
We have two options for the Universe Maker, either a personal being or an impersonal force. So which one would it be? First, let’s figure out what we mean by the word “person”. It can mean a human. But it can be bigger than that too. Let’s assume that we are not the only intelligent minds in the universe. Let’s say there is some alien being that can make conscious decisions, who has free will, one who can reflect and maybe even try to reach out to us. If this being has emotions and ability to convey thoughts to others, then that being would be a person too, but not human.
I know you’re wondering if I think if aliens exist, right? Well, I have no reason to think they exist, I don’t think there’s any evidence of some extraterrestrial planet that supports life too. However, I have no problem with them existing, it’s just I’m skeptical of their existence. Anyhow, I’ve dealt with enough people in my lifetime that at times I wonder if intelligent life even lives on planet earth (of course there is, you are intelligent, at least I hope so).
So we know that humans and aliens (if they exist) are persons, anything else? Well, if angels exist, they could be considered persons too. You don’t have to have physical body to be considered a person. Well that also means that if God exists, he would be a person too, right? Well, if God can make free and conscious decisions and have other personal attributes, then yes, he would be a personal being.
Was It The Force, Or Was It?
What about impersonal forces? Well, gravity would be that and maybe magnetism. It would be a force that has no intents, emotions and volition (a fancy word that means the ability to make decisions). Someone may say that the universe was caused by an impersonal force, or that the universe is just part of some larger entity, whatever that is, but it’s not a personal being.
This view is really attractive. Why? Because if this force makes up everything, that means everybody and everything is part of this force. Since we would say that it makes up everything, we could say it’s a form of what we could call “God”. In other words, people may say that “God is I or us.” But we also what have to say that not only is your aunt God but also tiny ants in the ground. It also means that you are no better than a snake, a snail, a stick or a sock. All of the above are God.
So let’s review. We know that cattle trailers can’t pop into existence without a prior cause, and we can rightly conclude or be justified to think that the universe had a cause too. Now we know a differences between persons and impersonal forces. The question we want to look at now is, what was this cause? Was it a personal being, like a God who can make real decisions? Or was it just some force that we are a part of?
Oh, no! I left you hanging there! An unfinished story and an unanswered question. If you think you know what happened in the story, or if you want to answer the last question, or if you just want to start a conversation, feel free to post below. If you want to reach out via email, feel free!
HELP ME PLEASE! I need help naming this book. Please follow this link and help give your feedback on a title that is meaningful but also catchy!
I have a passion to have answers for Christianity as Peter taught us to do. I would love for you to come along with me and not miss a post! In the future, I plan on giving more resources and answers you can share with both believers and unbelievers. Plus, I want to send you a Free Quick Guide why I think science points to God. I would love for you to have this Free Quick Guide and the latest posts straight to your inbox.