Total eclipses of the sun take place so infrequently where people can see them that their occurance can really refocus us on what being on earth is all about. The last total eclipse that crossed America was 99 years ago.
The moon casts a full-darkness shadow of the sun as it moves across the earth in a swath that is just 70 miles wide and lasts no more than two minutes in any one place. Inside that moving spot, the moon, because it is so much closer to us, appears larger than the sun viewed from the surface of the earth there. No light or heat gets through.
The eclipse makes landfall in Oregon and drops off the shore of South Carolina and back into the sea. Here we are in the Hamptons, some 700 miles from that. As a result, we will get only a three quarters eclipse. The light will begin dimming as the moon arrives, then dim further to its darkest time for the two minutes the moon covers the sun, then slowly restores. The moon moves away. The sunshine returns.
In the past, when a phenomenon such as this came along, those declaring themselves in touch with God jumped up and claimed they knew it was coming and it was a message from God—which they then imparted to the anxious crowds.
In those times, people would bow down to these messengers. Legends would grow up around them. Religions would be started. Soon people would be talking about many of these events, all miraculous, all proving that God exists.
It is fair to say that more death and destruction has occurred because of these religions declaring themselves the only one in tune with the creator, who, in addition, insists that others who don’t believe be struck down.
It’s a good sell. But as we now know, there is a scientific explanation for many of these things, and so skeptics now claim they are proof that God does not exist.
It is certainly understandable that one could conclude this. But it is not accurate. It only proves that in certain instances, where the proof of God’s existence was supposed to be shown, it wasn’t. The Shroud of Turin is a good example of this. It was said it was woven in the first century C.E., but now carbon dating tells us it was woven between the 13th and 14th century. But blame the messenger, not God. The messenger is the charlatan, or the fool who declared himself the intermediary.
It’s also possible, though, that there have been unusual signs that DO speak to God’s existence and no one has come upon them. Perhaps there is another shroud that WAS woven in the first century. A negative does not prove a positive.
Most of us, and I am one, want to both believe that there is a God who was responsible for creating what we have in this universe, and to think we do see the proof of it in what we think are unmistakable ways.
Look around you. Look at the great ospreys swoop down to pick up their prey. Look at the tumultuous crash of a waterfall. Look at the amazing shape of a single drop of water as it drips. Look at the incredibleness of a fish as big as a house that’s washed up on the beach. Look at friendship, passion, music, children, the horizon, the clouds in the sky and the breeze waving the grass in a field and tell me this isn’t proof to you personally that somebody or something must have made all this.
The darkness that is the 70-mile diameter spot carries this moon shadow along as it circles the Earth is the powerpoint to this.
They say that as the darkness descends, even for this two-minute period, the electric grid will falter and require assistance from other forms of electric power generation. Otherwise electricity will go out. And civilization will be at risk. As it happens so infrequently, not all the solar panel people locked into the grid planned for it. But because everyone knows ahead of time that it’s coming, everyone will rally around. And the solar panel part of electricity will return shortly.