Sunday, September 2, 2018

So Will I (100 Billion X)

And as You speak
A hundred billion failures disappear
Where You lost Your life so I could find it here
If You left the grave behind You so will I

I can see Your heart in everything You've done
Every part designed in a work of art called love
If You gladly chose surrender so will I

I can see Your heart
Eight billion different ways
Every precious one
A child You died to save
If You gave Your life to love them so will I

Like You would again a hundred billion times
But what measure could amount to Your desire
You're the One who never leaves the one behind

So Will I (100 Billion X) is one of my favorite praise and worship songs currently.  A new one by Hillsong United, the song speaks to the unfathomable immensity of God and His love for us.  It hammers home the vastness of God through repetition of "a hundred billion."

A hundred billion galaxies are born

A hundred billion creatures catch Your breath

Then we'll sing again a hundred billion times

A hundred billion failures disappear

Like you would again a hundred billion times

That number is so immense that it is hard to wrap our brains around.  If 100 billion were converted into seconds, it equates out to 3,170 years.  So if we wanted to "sing again a hundred billion times" and did so at the rate of one a second, it would take us until 5,188 AD to finish.  Or if we went back in time 3,170 years to 1,152 BC, we would be at the conversion of the Bronze Age to the Iron age, roughly around the Trojan War and over 400 years before the founding of Rome.

If we convert 100 billion to inches that converts to 1,578,282 miles.  Or 63.5 times around the earth.  Or about a little over 3 round-trip voyages to the moon.

The reference to eight billion toward the end of the song reflects a rounding up of the population of the earth.  At that population, it would take 12.5 more earths to reach 100 billion.  The total cumulative population of the earth is estimated to only be 96.1 billion, still not quite to 100 billion.

And the thing is, God operates on a scale that dwarfs even 100 billion.  To him, 100 billion might as well be 1.  100 billion years would pass in an instant and 100 billion miles could fit between His atoms.

We can talk about concepts like infinity and eternity, but I don't think our brains can really comprehend them.  I've heard eternity described using a solid steel ball the size of a boulder and a small bird.  If you imagined the bird flying by the steel ball once a day to brush its wing against the ball, and imagined how long it would take for that process to wear the ball down to nothing, you still would not even scratch the surface of eternity.  All of recorded existence no matter where you start measuring from is still but a very tiny fraction of eternity.

Another example.

By Voyager 1 -, Public Domain,
The photo above is a very famous photograph entitled the Pale Blue Dot.  If you look in the yellow-ish strand on the right, you can see one little speck of blue-ish white, almost dead center of the strand.

That's Earth.  As seen from the Voyager 1 space probe, from about 3.7 billion miles away.  Earth is less than a pixel in the picture and the bands of colors are bands of sunlight reflected by the camera.  It was the one last photo of Earth as Voyager finished its mission.

Carl Sagan would reflect on the image in a public lecture at Cornell University.

"We succeeded in taking that picture, and, if you look at it, you see a dot.  That's here.  That's home.  That's us.  On it, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever lived, lived out their lives.  The aggregate of all our joys and sufferings, thousands of confident religions, ideologies and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilizations, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every hopeful child, every mother and father, every inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every superstar, every supreme leader, every saint and every sinner in the history of our species, lived on a mote of dust, suspended in a sunbeam."

And yet, the God of the Universe stepped down into that pale blue dot.  He stepped from the vastness of infinity and eternity and made it personal.  That is the most astounding tenet of Christianity.  That a God would could measure breaths in eons and hold the universe in the palm of His hand, would step down into His creation to redeem it.  And that the redemption extends to you and me.

That is a God worth all our praise.  One hundred billion times and more.

He's the one who never leaves the one behind.


So Will I (100 Billion X)
Words and Music by Joel Houston, Benjamin Hastings, and Michael Fatkin
(c) 2017 Hillsong Music Publishing CCLI: 7084123

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