Imagine being contacted by superior intelligence.
Carl Sagan was known as an astronomer and an atheist. His often quoted observation that there are “billions and billions” of galaxies with “billions and billions” of stars led him to conclude that life on Earth is just a result of statistical chance and that other intelligent life must also exist in the universe. He captured his dream of making first contact with another intelligence in a novel, which was the basis for the movie “Contact.” Jodie Foster starred as the astronomer who first detects and unravels a message from space.
The other beings, vastly more intelligent than humans, provide instructions for a single-passenger vessel that will allow us to make contact with them. Though no human understands how or why it will work, we build it on pure faith and with great anticipation. Jodie is chosen to go and is quickly transported to another world. The other intelligence appears to her in a form that she immediately understands to have love for her. He inspires her trust yet lets her see herself as she really is; not as the brilliant scientist, but as the mere child she is in relation to this other being. How? The being appears to her as her own father, who had died years before. They talk for a while and she is then told that she must return, for humans are not yet ready for full contact and must come to know this higher intelligence gradually. When she returns to Earth, she is stunned to be told by everyone who observed the launch that absolutely nothing happened. The vessel never left Earth and she was only aboard it only for a few seconds. When she tells them of her experience with the other intelligence, some people believe and understand. Others, however, think she suffered a moment of delusion that was simply the result of her emotional need to connect with her father. Jodie knows in her heart and in her mind that her experience of contact was real, but also knows that she cannot prove it to anyone, even to herself. Her belief is based only on a deeply personal experience and pure faith.
Sagan provided great insight into how a higher intelligence would have to make contact with us to avoid fear and panic. He also provided, probably unwittingly, a great insight into how God reaches out to make contact with us. God has given each of us the vessel within ourselves with which to make contact with Him. We don’t understand how or why this will work and must to demonstrate pure faith to make the journey. Once in God’s presence, we immediately understand His love for us, seeing Him as Father, even “Abba,” (the Aramaic word for “Daddy”) in the words of Jesus. His touch is familiar to us, a voice among our own thoughts, usually soft and subtle, sometimes clear and profound, with words and insights that we know are not our own, or with events in response to prayer that we know cannot logically be attributed to coincidence. From the outside, it looks to others as though nothing has happened. If we share our experiences with God, some believe and understand. Others, however, think it is simply a delusion, the result of an emotional need. As much as we know the experience to be real, we are left with no real proof. That’s part of God’s grace. For those who are ready to make contact, He gives all the instructions and tools we need to come to Him, all the evidence we need to know He is there. For those who are not yet ready, He gives the freedom to make first contact in their own time.
Sagan died before making contact with a higher intelligence, missing a life-changing experience. Some reach to the heavens and look deep into space in this search, but all we really have to do to make contact is to get down on our knees and look deep enough within ourselves to realize that we are mere children before the Father who wants so much for us to make the journey to seek Him, and, little by little, to come to know and to love Him.
“The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you.”
Words of Jesus Christ in Luke 17:20-21
“I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
Words of Jesus Christ in Matthew 18:2-4
“I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”
Words of Jesus Christ in Mark 10:13-16
“Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
Words of Jesus Christ in John 20:29
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”
Words of Jesus Christ in Matthew 7:7-8