In my current atheist state of mind, I find thoughts about God thoroughly uninspiring.
After all, how is it possible to be inspired or awestruck by an entity that almost certainly doesn't exist? Or at the very least, has no demonstrable evidence in support of its existence.
But the universe...
Ah, that's something which obviously exists, and science knows enough about it for awe to be an entirely reasonable reaction to the immensity that not only surrounds us, but is us.
The July 30 issue of New Scientist features a cover story called Your Brief Guide to Everything Ever: An inventory of the universe from rogue planets to the cosmic web.
There's a lot of fascinating facts in those ten pages.
Here's some about the immensity of the universe -- which is so far beyond our capacity to visualize, all we can do is let our minds be transported to an oh-so-incomplete understanding of what lies in the vastness beyond the night sky.
The furthest any human has made it from Earth is just beyond the moon -- some 400,000 kilometres away, or 1.3 seconds at light speed. The edge of the observable universe lies 46.5 billion light years away.
In the Milky Way alone, there are an estimated 100 billion stars, and beyond our galaxy there are billions of other galaxies. This means there are thought to be around 200 billion trillion stars in the universe.
Every star we see in the night sky is part of just one galaxy -- our own Milky Way. Up until around 100 years ago, astronomers believed this was all there was. Now we know the Milky Way is just one of billions of galaxies in the universe, if not more. NASA estimates there could be 2 trillion.
If you could zoom out of the Milky Way, you would start to see the Local Group -- a collection of at least 80 galaxies set in a dumb-bell shape. At one end is the Milky Way and its satellite galaxies, and at the other is our closest large neighbour, Andromeda, and its satellites.
Zoom out a bit further and you see that the Local Group is next door to a cluster of thousands of galaxies called the Virgo Cluster. That cluster and the Local Group are both, in turn, part of a much larger structure that is more than 100 million light years across and contains another 100 groups of galaxies, called the Virgo Supercluster.
Astronomers believe there to be some 10 million such superclusters in the observable universe. And yet a study in 2014 indicated that the Virgo Supercluster is part of an even bigger supercluster called Laniakea, showing that the universe is ordered on a much larger scale that we originally thought.
Here's a BBC video that shows the scale of the universe.