Sermon Illustrations

I remember a few years ago, when I was stationed at Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, some of the students had designed and created a satellite that was launched during one of the space shuttle missions. I wrote an article about it, and while interviewing the professor in charge of the aerospace department I learned that all orbits decay eventually.

The satellite they created would circle the earth for about four or five years, and then fall toward earth, burning up as the earth’s gravity pulled it into our atmosphere.

If every orbits decays, that means our own orbit around the sun will eventually decay also. Scientists are watching that carefully though, and we don’t seem to be slowing down just yet.

But I began to think about another orbit. Electrons. Everything in the universe is made of atoms. An atom is like a miniature solar system. The core, or nucleus, is made of neutrons, which have no electrical charge, and protons, which have a positive charge. A number of electrons with a negative charge, matching the number of protons, orbit around the nucleus at the speed of light.

An atom should implode. Logically, the gravitational pull of an atom’s nucleus should cause the electron orbit to decay, destroying the atom. Yet all the atoms throughout the universe are still spinning freely, in direct violation of the law of orbital decay.

It’s much easier for me to believe in a creator who can control these kinds of things, than in some random chance of evolution holding all these atoms together by sheer luck. I just don’t have enough faith to be an atheist.