Glassing God

Over a year ago, I plopped down a few bills and purchased a nice set of binoculars:  the Nikon Monarch ATB, a huge step up from my old cheap pair.  The quality of the Nikon optics is phenomenal.  I’ve carried them to the field several times and gazed dreamily at a full moon through the clear night sky.  And back in February, I took them to Guntersville State Park to watch the eagles.

Around the same time I bought the binoculars, my father-in-law gifted my kids with a very nice telescope–almost too nice.  Every time we set it up, I’m afraid it will get knocked over by the dog or a careless foot.  So far, we’ve manage to avoid disaster.

In the same way I glassed the heavens with my binoculars, I’ve used the telescope to examine our wonderful moon.  The difference between these two pieces of equipment was staggering.  The Moon dominated the telescope’s viewfinder.  Through the lens, I could see remarkable features of the Moon’s surface.  Craters became more defined and coloration more distinct.  Distant details were beaming into my backyard.  I could even see the astronaut’s left-behind gear and the American flag (not really—just kidding).  What had just been a bright distant object in the night sky had become a glorious new discovery, something much different than I’d earlier imagined it to be.

Similarly, I believe we can be telescopes for God.  Is this not what it means to bring God glory?  By magnifying God before others we don’t make Him grander than He already is.  We can’t “enhance” the reality of our Lord.  And we’re not making Him larger so others will just notice Him more.  We simply work to reveal His beautiful nature.  After all, a telescope does the same thing for celestial objects; it brings them into better view so we may behold their astonishing beauty, their deeper complexity—their true glory.  This naturally catapults us into a state of awe.  Likewise, as we approach the splendor of our Lord, it brings transformation and genuine worship.

So how do we bring glory to God?  Not by consciously trying to be a “spiritual” telescope, but rather by submitting to God and forgetting ourselves.  He displays His glory in us often when we don’t even realize it.  Like Moses, as we spend time with Him, making Him the center or our attention, placing all our trust in Him, a little of His glory will spill over on us.  To paraphrase C.S. Lewis, He is making us into our true selves, the person He wants us to become.  John the Baptist said it best:

30 He must increase, but I must decrease.

31 He who comes from above is above all, he who is of the earth is from the earth and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all.

John 3:30-31

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