January 27, 2022
Reflections – Silent Stars
How often have you reflected on the silent stars of the sky? I spent this past week away from the city. I stayed on the Gulf Coast of Texas where a cold front had just come through and the sky was as clear and blue as a newborn baby’s eyes. The nightly view of the heavens was jaw-dropping. Stars glimmered against the pitch-black universe in ways I had not seen since living by an airport outside of Fort Worth when I was five years old. I still vividly remember the wonder of seeing the “Milky Way” at that time.
A Deeper Look
As I grew up, we lived in ever more densely populated cities where the streetlights of civilization overshadowed the lights that continued to beam down from the heavens. Along the way, we moved from using binoculars to view the moon’s craters, to telescopes that could see the planets, to the Hubble telescope that peers deeply into space, and soon to the newly launched John Webb telescope that promises to provide an even deeper look into the universe.
However, this week I still had to get away from the lights of the city so as to see the heavenly display of stars with my naked eyes. The new telescopes are doing a similar thing by launching out into space and escaping the glare of the earth’s atmosphere and civilization’s ever-increasing lighting. From a million miles away, the newest telescope promises to reach back in time. Almost to the point that the universe was created. The things we can learn from the silent stars.
Yet, it seems to me that the experience of our relationship with God is similar to my view of the stars. My childhood understanding that “Jesus loves me this I know…” gave way as it yielded to the cares and call of the world, cares that increasingly dominated my life.
I was taught the tenants of the Christian religion, but this was still clouded by practical matters. I learned about God but to a large measure failed to “know” God. In time, that became a dilemma.
The solution seems to be analogous to that of viewing the silent stars. I had to get away from the city, from the cares of this world, so that the ever-present God of the universe could be experienced. God had never left, but the cares of the world had overshadowed Him.
In practical terms, the experience of more fully “knowing” God seems to come through building on a knowledge of the Scriptures. This is done through the experience of silence. Where one strives to continually allow the world to fall away as it is penetrated by the Holy Spirit and transformed into “the mind of Christ.”
The psalmist seems to have it right when he said, “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10) It is good to keep the mind stimulated, but it may be even better to quiet the mind in prayer. And finally, yes, as Jesus taught, “The Kingdom of God is within you!” (Luke 17:21).
Blessings and peace,
Disclaimer statement: Please note that the opinions expressed herein are those of the Chaplain alone and are based on his personal understanding of scripture and how God works in our lives.
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