In the next few days, more than one million people will be flooding into South Carolina to witness the total solar eclipse, which is scheduled to occur just after 2:40 p.m. on Monday, August 21. Approximately 30,000 to 100,000 of those folks will be coming right here to my home city of Charleston, because we’re smack dab on the path for ideal viewing.
But is this total solar eclipse really going to happen, or is it simply fake news? Maybe it’s something the tourist industry dreamed up to boost the state’s economy. These days, one can’t be too skeptical.
Of course, I’m just kidding. The total solar eclipse will happen right on schedule, because that’s the way the universe operates. If it isn’t cloudy, it should be a spectacular sight.
My wife, Sarah, and I have our special eclipse glasses, and we plan to view the event from the Intercoastal Waterway, which is just a 7-minute paddle by Kayak up the river that runs behind our house.
The Total Solar Eclipse is a Small Fraction of Life’s Wonders
As we look up at the sky on Monday, I think I’ll be extraordinarily aware that we’re merely tiny visitors on a little spec of dirt that’s hurtling though a vast universe. How vast? According to astronomers, our galaxy has at least 100 billion stars, and there are at least 200 billion galaxies in the universe, each with hundreds of billions of stars!
But that’s not all! In 2016, Hubble telescope observations prompted scientists to raise their estimate for the number of galaxies by a factor of 10. In other words, the probable number of galaxies is not 200 billion, but two trillion!
How about those numbers for putting us in our place! If we have an inflated sense of self-significance, they will certainly puncture it.
But the truth is that we are significant to the only One who ultimately matters. So, as I look up at the sky on Monday, I’ll be thinking of the following words of King David as recorded in Psalm 8: