A few nights ago the Perseid meteor shower began. My husband and kids went out to see it before I did and saw three clear meteors before I got outside.
The conversation went something like this:
“We already saw 3. They said look to the south, but they’ve been coming north to south.” (long pause)
“This patch of sky is awfully small; I think I’ll move back a bit so I have a larger view.” (pause)
‘There’s!…oh, it’s just an airplane.”
“I saw a flash of light behind that tree, but I don’t know if it was a meteor because the tree is blocking the view.” (long pause)
“DID YOU SEE THAT ONE!!?!”
My husband moves to sit with me. (My youngest has already given up and gone to bed.) I see the next one and my husband misses it; he’s getting tired, so he goes inside, and so does my oldest.
Now I’m sitting alone with God, and at some point I realize that I’m tapping my foot to the music of the locusts. I stay outside, looking at the wonders that are the heavens, even without meteor showers until I see one more big, bright meteor, shooting through the sky so clearly that it doesn’t seem that far away!
As I sit here, I think deeply on the beautiful things that God has made and given us to look upon, including all the blessings He bestows upon us day by day. Sometimes we find it so much easier to see the disturbing things, the upsetting things, the fearful things, the frustrating things, and to let our minds go with how upset or afraid we are. I think about the concept of focus. What hinders us from focusing on the good?
I think about the things that I could have allowed to ruin my time of stargazing but chose not to:
- Not even going outside to look in the first place.
- Looking the wrong direction.
- Airplanes. I saw more of them than I did meteors, but not more than I did stars!
- Trees. We would have had to drive somewhere else to get away from them.
- Perhaps the biggest problem was the light pollution including the two streetlights on the road behind us. We would have had to drive to the country to get away from that.
- Impatience: giving up too quickly.
- Bugs. When some of them started flying too close to my face, I thought about going inside.
So, how does that apply to our everyday problem with focusing on the wrong things?
- Some people never see the good in anything because they don’t believe it exists, therefore they don’t even try to see it. I hope that none of us are among that group. This would take the joy completely out of life.
- When we look the wrong direction (mentally, emotionally, or spiritually), we miss the good and beautiful things that are there (outside our vision). They’re as clear as the nose on our face. But we miss it.
- Airplanes: flashing lights that are in our line of vision making their way through the patch of sky that is our blessed life. These things may be good things, but they keep us distracted from the better and the best. These may be activities, fun and exciting or routine and not so exciting, even the work of being busy for the Lord. But they keep us from pausing to consider how much we have to be thankful for and from meditating on how amazing God is.
- Trees: obstacles, big and looming. These may be looming deadlines that must be met, people or situations that we are afraid of, things someone said or did that we can’t seem to forgive, a job that requires we work too many hours, and so on. If you can’t chop the tree down, go around it. Don’t continue to let that obstacle keep you from seeing the beauty and blessings of God.
- Light pollution — Satan tries to counterfeit the good things of God. The Bible says he masquerades as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14). He wants to eclipse our view of the beauty of God so he throws seemingly good things in front of us to distract us from God. We need to get away to the “country” of God’s Word as often as possible to see things clearly.
- Impatience. I’ve found in life that giving up too soon is a bad idea. You never know if the next day might not be the day when your prayer will be answered. Hang in there, and don’t give up.
- Bugs. We’re bigger than them, after all, and we can always use bug spray. We often have people that God allows to come into our lives that bug us and make us want to walk away or respond in ways that are not right. God is good. And, by the way, He is bigger than they are and than the problems they cause. We can come to Him for help and expect Him to come to our aid.
- Weariness. I’m weary right now. Would you like me to finish this blog post or just give up, walk away, and leave you hanging? God says that “when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Cor. 12:10) It is in my moments of greatest weariness and weakness that I can entrust myself into His care and know that He will either carry me through in His strong arms or give me the strength to take the next step, and the next, and the next.
So, I think next time there’s a meteor shower, I’d like to drive out to the country like I have in the past so I can get a clearer view of the amazing sight that is available above me.
In the meantime I hope you will join me in searching God’s Word faithfully and meditating on the wonders that He has revealed there which are available to be found by all His children.
“ We must focus on Jesus, the source and goal of our faith. He saw the joy ahead of him, so he endured death on the cross and ignored the disgrace it brought him. Now he holds the honored position—the one next to God the Father on the heavenly throne.” (Heb. 12:2 GW)
Focus on God, and be amazed!