Poison Pie Publishing House: A Prayer for Physicists

A Prayer for Physicists

"I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark."
Stephen Hawking
in an interview in The Guardian, published May 15, 2011

Lord, let each of us who dwell on Earth discover a path
along which we may come to a measure of comfort
with the terms of our existence. Lord, lay out multiple paths
to this end, for we are not all cut from the same cloth.

Lord, grant us the wisdom to perceive that we are all wired
differently. Despite the fact that we seek the same destination,
we come at it from different directions. What is this great end
that unites all men? I shall not claim that it is a communal

goal, such as a peaceful society or an equitable distribution
of resources, since of course we know there are many among us
who ardently work against those seemingly innocuous goals.
No, Lord, I am not so ambitious as to suggest plans so noble

or altruistic. Instead, I see only a common goal of individuals--
to make sense of our singular lives, to find a perspective
through which we are able to view ourselves with a fair
balance of respect, if not admiration. Lord, some of us find

security in a slowly expanding understanding of the physical
universe. It is a puzzle that possesses an undeniable attraction.
Others find a reassuring pose in the steady faith of Your guiding
influence. This too, no less than science, is a mystery capable

of igniting the imagination. Lord, as I wander through the woods,
following a winding path, I find my way intersects other paths
so frequently that I see only a spider web of trails and I no longer
can distinguish the original path I intended to follow. I am lost!

O Lord, You alone have a bird's eye view of the myriad paths
of this universe. You alone observe their beginnings
and their endings and their transformations as we follow them.
Lord, imbue all travelers with perseverance for none of us

shall reach our destination. All paths are endless. Yet, in walking
these convoluted roads, O Lord, grant us the spark of inspiration,
which permits us to perceive a value in our journey, and the impulse
to transmit that value to those whom we meet along the way.

A Prayer for Physicists
David Keffer
Knoxville, TN
October 29, 2014