“When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?” (Psalm 8:3-4)
I’m no scientist, not even in the casual sense, so I’ve never been heavy into something like astronomy or bothered to figure out patterns and constellations in a night sky. Regardless, I think stars are beautiful. They have a larger than life quality that I can’t help but to be consumed by, and I’ve always loved staring at things that make me shudder—even if my appreciation for them is a bit limited.
I like awe, and stars can instill that in you, whether you’re five years old or 21.
Stars have a way of creating a subtle yet grand sense of space and the infinite. They make you realize that creation is so much bigger than planet you’re confined to, and that your life is much more sweeping than your current situation. They can take a predicament, something so familiar as everyday life, pull away the dross and amplify its glory.
For instance, when you pick something so familiar as the sun of our solar system and launch it light years from where you are, its nature and quality changes. The way you view that object shifts.
Suddenly a sun that burned is now a star that shines.
It’s all about perspective.
With a little bit of space (or a lot of it), suddenly there is room to exist and become something else that isn’t just here and now. I think that’s beautiful.
But the world gets me claustrophobic.
Life isn’t easy, and sometimes because of that, you lose a sense of wonder. We spend most of our lives indoors surrounded by artificial light and manmade space. Instead of being immersed in the cosmic, we get lost in an avalanche of worry, and we’re pulled downwards towards gravity. Back to our tunnel-visioned reality, back to broken relationships, back to a lack of direction, and we feel suffocated. Vastness is suddenly limited only to clear nights where clouds can’t screen our sight, and sometimes because of that, you forget that stars still speckle the sky.
My roommate put up a bunch of glow-in-the-dark stars on the ceiling of our dining room. Most nights before I go to sleep, I usually turn out the lights and stare at our ceiling for a couple of seconds. I have bad vision, so when I take my glasses off, I can hardly tell the difference between what’s real and what’s not. It’s a grand illusion, and it’s certainly not the same as being outside and surrounded by nature, but it’s halfway there.
It’s nearly winter now, and the past few nights have been too cold to stand outside in, and these upcoming weeks are filled with deadlines and obligations. But there are things in our lives that we need to make us human—to remind us that we still feel, move and breathe; that we don’t just follow instruction and circumstance, but we speak and listen to. That the world is a free moving space, not predefined laws and rules, and that we exist on a planet intentionally placed into an expansive universe perfectly orchestrated by our creator.
Sometimes, the thing that reawakens our humanity is something like the blanket of a night sky riddled with hundreds of beacons of light, and other times it’s just the glow of 40 cheap pieces of plastic tacked to your dining room ceiling.
Look up, and remember that there is much more than this. Refresh your perspective. Our creator is big, and our existence is greater than we know.
Dear Father, You have created a magnificent universe. I cannot comprehend its beauty, but I am grateful that You are the perfect creator, in charge of all things.