"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." (Albert Einstein)

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Blaise Pascal

As a fitting tribute to my Creator, Savior & Lord Jesus, I pondered on the testimony of BLAISE PASCAL (French scientist, mathematician, physicist, philosopher, moralist & writer). The article cited below is found on this website: http://poptop.hypermart.net/testbp.html

These testimones are not stories of "role models". Jesus is the role model! These are lives wonderfully touched & changed by Jesus!

His Life Before Jesus Came In:
Blaise Pascal [1623-1662] (the French genius who in his brief lifetime made numerous world-changing discoveries) knew there was much, much more [last name sometimes carried as paschal...a word meaning of or pertaining to the Passover or Easter].

His namesake may have been St. Blaise, a Jesus follower & probably a bishop of Sebastea in Armenia who was martyred under the reign of Licinius in the early fourth century. Many Catholics might remember Saint Blaise's feast day because of the Blessing of the Throats that took place on this day. Two candles are blessed, held slightly open, and pressed against the throat as the blessing is said. Saint Blaise's protection of those with throat troubles apparently comes from a legend that a boy was brought to him who had a fishbone stuck in his throat. The boy was about to die when Saint Blaise healed him.

Blaise Pascal grew up in Paris, schooled at home by his father. He showed early promise: at age eight he wrote his first scientific paper; at 16 he wrote a mathematical essay that broke new ground in the field of geometry.
When he was 19, Pascal invented a calculating "machine", a forerunner of modern computers. At 23, he made major discoveries in physics and proved the existence of the vacuum. This paved the way for hypodermic syringes, barometers, and hydraulic devices. Pascal also came up with the mathematical theory of probability and helped shape the field of calculus.

From his teens, he often suffered great pain in his legs; as an adult he became partially crippled. One night, unable to sleep due to the pain, he arose and wrote down the solution to a problem that advanced a very difficult area of mathematics.

Yet, though Pascal knew very well the power of the mind and the potential of human reason, he also knew that people cannot solve the deepest mysteries and needs of life with their minds alone. He understood that mankind is at the same time very great and very flawed.

Through various personal trials, Pascal became more and more a religious man. He was much affected when his niece was miraculously healed of a tumor. After he was nearly killed in a carriage accident, he was converted in 1654 (age 31) to a deep relationship with Jesus Christ.

His Life Since Jesus Came In:
The day on which he found peace with God was so important to him that he wrote a reminder of it on parchment and sewed it into the lining of his coat. He kept this coat for the rest of his life, and the note was found there when he died at age 39.

In it he told how he had come to know "the God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob." He ended by writing, "I will not forget thy word."

In 1662, from the room where he lay painfully dying, Pascal observed the plight of the poor in the streets, having to trudge long distances while the rich comfortably rode. One of his last great ideas was the bus--public transportation. Among the many quotable quotes of this greatest of all French thinkers is, "There is a God-shaped vacuum in every heart."

He also constructed a wager as to the truth of God & Christianity called Pascal's wager: Either Christianity is true or it's false. If you bet that it's true, and you believe in God and submit to Him, then if it IS true, you've gained God, heaven, and everything else. If it's false, you've lost nothing, but you've had a good life marked by peace and the illusion that ultimately, everything makes sense. If you bet that Christianity is not true, and it's false, you've lost nothing. But if you bet that it's false, and it turns out to be true, you've lost everything and you get to spend eternity in hell.

His wager is an attempt to say to doubters that belief in Jesus is a can't lose situation...if Jesus is a lie (the "bet" for Jesus is lost), yet you live according to His teaching, you can't help but live a "good" present life; and whatever atheists believe will come to pass eternally. If the bet for Jesus is won (Jesus believers/followers actually do have hold of THE TRUTH), then you get the "good" current life AND eternal dwelling with God when you die. Since you get a good current life by following Jesus (whether the facts of Jesus are true or false), then it only make sense to follow Jesus.

Then I would add: the only true power in life comes with true Jesus belief as Savior which causes the incoming of the Holy Spirit to empower the truly fulfilled & peace-filled life of the true Jesus believer.

No comments: