I have aliens on the brain again. After writing this article, I’m going to watch Independence Day: Resurgence on blu-ray. A new movie in theaters called Arrival looks pretty fun. Meanwhile, a billionaire real estate mogul is our new president, the Cubs just broke a 108-year baseball curse, and we had a supermoon this week. I mean, come on, something cosmically incredible has to be just around the corner.
As I watch fictional aliens lay waste to our puny planet or insidiously insert themselves into our society, it gets me to thinking: what would I do if aliens showed up? How would I react? Would it shake me to the core of my faith, like it did for the hapless puritan in Paul? Would it revive my faith, like it did for Mel Gibson in Signs? Would it encourage me to pull out my old Simon game and use the flashing lights and cool synthesized notes to try and communicate ala Close Encounters of the Third Kind?
Pondering this question made me realize one thing: I would probably be more afraid of my fellow humans, at least initially, than I would be of our intergalactic visitors. I would stay home from work, keep my kids out of school, run to the store and get whatever staples I could, then sit at home with my guns within reach (I live in Georgia) and stay glued to the TV. If first contact wasn’t a hostile encounter, I would still be worried about rioters, looters, thieves, and arsonists. Even if the event were to take place on the other side of the world, my faith in the fragile psyche of mankind only goes so far. I would steer clear of emotional doomsayers and help my family and friends and neighbors keep a level head, as I hope they would do for me.
I would also do a lot of praying. I don’t believe that the existence of aliens would negate God’s omnipotence, divine creation, and
our need for salvation. But I would be lying if I pretended that it wouldn’t at least throw my worldview into a tailspin. Would the aliens have souls? Would they be fallen as we are? Would have had their own encounter with God? I probably wouldn’t get answers to these questions, but it would be impossible to keep them from swirling in my thoughts.
Bottom line, though, would be survival. Stephen Hawking has repeatedly tried to dissuade the scientific community from making contact with aliens. History has shown that when a technologically weaker civilization meets a stronger one, it never ends well for the guys with sticks and stones. That’s what we would be to even the most pacifist alien visitors. The fact that they can traverse the cosmos to visit us would put them at a tremendous advantage over us. And who hasn’t kicked open an ant hill, simply because they can? Even if they communicated peaceful intentions, I don’t think most people would trust them. I sure wouldn’t.
Fortunately, this is all just the stuff of tales and dream. When I look up at the stars at night, I am staggered by the immensity of the universe, but I also know that we are indeed not alone. And we have been visited by Someone far greater than we could ever imagine. He came in peace, though we did not respond in kind. Let us be thankful that His mercy is greater than the heavens.