Thursday, February 23, 2017

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A Nobel Observation

Unless you are a nerd like me, or perhaps a news junkie, you likely were unaware that the latest batch of Nobel Prizes has recently been awarded. I used to be very excited about this process, with an excitement similar to playoff baseball. But when people like Yasser Arafat, Jimmy Carter and Al Gore get Nobel Prizes, well then any standards of excellence have clearly eroded. At least in science we still have some integrity …

Anyway, I was particularly excited this year to see that this year the awardees in Physics were honored for their contributions in optics: fiber optical communications and the charged coupled device (CCD). This is particularly important to me because in my research we use fiber optics and CCD cameras for clinical purposes.

As I have been contemplating the concept of mission and ministry, and threw in this prize announcement, it reminded me that in a way they are related. How, you may ask?

You see, fiber optics are conduits for light (more precisely, waveguides). In my work, we have a source of light and we want to deliver the light to a particular location. The optical fiber guides the light from the source to the desired location. We do this to use the light to detect or treat disease.

For a geek like me, all of this is a reminder of Gospel-centered ministry. We must remember that God is the source of all good things. We are to be conduits of the message of God. We deliver it where the Spirit of God leads us. And the effect of this is to bring healing to others. Without the source (God), fibers (us) are not very useful, and healing does not come.

We are not supposed to originate the message; we are merely messengers or more precisely ambassadors. Of particular note is that optical fibers, if not pure, can degrade or distort the optical signal from the source. We for sure do not want to alter the message from the Lord, our source of light.

So, in celebration of this year’s Physics Nobel Prize, do the noble thing and be an optical fiber for the true light of Messiah!

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