Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Power of One

I love looking at the cosmos and gazing into eternity! Every time I see a picture of the Hubble Deep Field, I think of my Creator and how majestic He must be to make something so magnificant and complete in perfection. Gazing into the heavens leaves me feeling like Moses, thinking that Man is nothing. As a practical statistician, I round decimals to zero when they get significantly small, and when you compare one person to all the billions of people on this earth, you start approaching zero. But even the earth's matter approaches zero as you compare it to all the stars in the galaxy. But even, then our galaxy is just one galaxy in a sea of thousands of galaxies. The percentage that man makes up in the cosmos is so small that it is zero. Man really is nothing compared to all the wonders all around him, but yet man is one.

This is the great paradox of God(alright, so I am not sure if this really qualifies as a paradox, but I can't think of a better word for it right now). Man is nothing, yet God's work and Glory is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. (I checked at it is singular in Moses 1. I know that sometimes the term 'man' is a stand-in for maknkind, but I like to think of this verse as being singular. It applies specifically to an individual) Somehow, even though each of us is small and insignificant, every single one of us matters significantly to God. I do not know how this is possible. How can one entity keep track of the entire universe and pay significant attention to every single one of His creations? I just don't know, but I know it has something to do with the fact that God is infinite and eternal. (Try doing some infinite arthimetic sometime and then applying it to your relationship between yourself and God, and you will see some amazing metaphors!)

Anyways, I made some fudge over the Thanksgiving break. (It is all thanks to my Dad, that I can make fudge. He taught me everything I know). I made chocolate/vanilla swirl. I was super excited. I tried making two batches at the same time, but the Vanilla part was going really slow and i was getting impatient. I probably started stirring in the marshmellow cream too soon, and somehow the Vanilla came out grainy. Although, the chocolate fudge was as perfect as it is possible for me to get it. :) Now, grainy fudge is not really a bad thing. The fudge still tastes great, and some people actaully prefer the grainy texture to the smooth creamy texture. But, I always try to make my fudge as smooth as possible.

In order to make fudge, you have to create a supersaturated liquid. As the fudge cools it turns into a solid, but it starts life as a liquid. You heat up the liquid (melted butter and evaporated milkd) and dissolve sugar into it. More sugar is dissolved into the liquid than it should be able to hold at room temperature, but because it gets heated up, the liquid can hold more and more sugar crystals. As it cools, it remains a liquid and (hopefully) all of the sugar stays dissolved in the solution. This is what is it means to be super-saturated.

Super-saturated is a state that does not naturally occur. The fudge goo does not want to be super-saturated and if it is given any chance it would prefer to just be saturated and lose all of the extra dissolved sugar. In fact, it only takes one single undissolved particle and the whole pan of fudge goo will no longer be super-saturated. Add one seed to a super-saturated solution and you will get a whole bunch of particles coming out of it. Just one sugar crystal can turn a whole batch of fudge from being super-satured smooth and creamy goodness to being simply saturated with a whole bunch of grains (but still tasty) fudge.

This is what happened to my vanilla fudge. And when I mixed the vanilla fudge and the chocolate fudge together to get the swirl, the whole thing went grainy. One single crystal changed the entire existence of a double batch of fudge.

From the perspective of one of the sugar particles, it is nothing when compared to all of the rest of the ingredients in the fudge. There are 8 cups of sugar in the double batch of fudge. I don't know how many crystals total there are but, I would say that one crystal compared to the rest is essentially zero. You could remove one crystal from the recipe and it wouldn't change the finaly product in the slightest. It seems to the crystal that nothing they do will ever matter. If the sugar could feel, it would probably feel like it was going through the refiner's fire as it gets heated up to extreme heats and dissolved into the solution. Unlike, my Creator, I can not pay attention to every single particle of my creation. It was all I could do to pay attention to the whole pan of fudge. (But somehow, God really can pay attention to every single one of us!) Yet, through the actions of one sugar particle not getting dissolved into the supersaturated soluion (JUST ONE), the entire pan was changed. One single insignificant sugar crystal significantly changed its entire world.

How is that for the power of one? One small insignificant individual really can make a difference! I want to be like that crystal and change my world (hopefully for the better, unlike the crystal :D ) every single day. One person really does have power and influence. Next time you feel small and unworthy, think of that sugar crystal and realize that what you do really does matter.

One final thought, in order for the fudge to turn out perfectly creamy, every single particle of sugar has to remain dissolved in the solution. Maybe Zion will be something like my fudge. With every single person being of one heart and one mind, and every person significantly contributing to the world around them.

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