I will be writing this month a response and application of this man's story- one so connected to life, science, and faith.
I wanted to start with the last two sentences of the book:
"He was a loner with an intimate bond to humanity, a rebel who was suffused with reverence. And thus it was an imaginative, impertinent patent clerk became the mind reader of the creator of the cosmos, the locksmith of the mysteries of the atom and the universe (551)."
It is always interesting to me to see how great men of human history end up being loners and rebels. It was Emerson who coined the quote: 'To be great is to be misunderstood'.
It actually encourages me (and believe me, I am no Einstein) to know that it is OK to spend time in thought and wonder. I don't think we do it enough. My most annoying habit is that I get lost in the wonder of God and the mystery of the universe- ask my wife.
The last few days, we have been snowed in, and I have found myself rather withdrawn and contemplative. It is a loner existence, but I never feel alone. I am comforted more and more by the presence of Jesus in my life.
Now the struggle is to step out and share the presence with others I love. Namely, my wife and children and the students and teachers I rub shoulders with. But I have to be honest, I feel the draw that hooked Albert his whole life- he called them Thought Experiments- and he played them over and over in his mind. He spent countless hours contemplating buckets filled with water and what it would be like to ride a sunbeam. He did the thinking and later applied the math. It was his free thinking and keen ability to start with the right pre-suppositions that allowed him to unlock the truths of the cosmos.
This book has helped me see a little about how my brain operates. It sounds crazy, but much of my life is running football plays over and over in my mind, then I switch and run Bible verses over and over, then I think about family...friends, and then I think about football. For the last few years, I have been afraid to do this much- I even feel like I am weird. I get lost in a book that describes the grandeur of God's glory and I feel His pleasure. I put together a game plan and I feel His pleasure.
But Einstein encourages me to be willing to be me- if that cuts against what people may desire out of me, so be it. I hope that one day- there will come from me new thoughts in both areas for the benefit of others. I want the gospel to be more real and I want the spread offense to be more deadly.
I seem aloof at times- but I do know that I really care!
So forgive the arrogance of just posting Einstein and me... it is what a blog is for. More will come later- but I hope to bring together a unity and will propose a thought experiment... do you see the God-shaped gaps?
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