September 18, 2007

The stars are blazing like rebel diamonds cut out of the sun.

Posted in Personal at 9:24 am by Caleb Winn

Heaven ain’t close in a place like this…

I went to see Stardust again last night. It is a delightful adventure story about a magical Kingdom where fallen stars are more than just space dust: they are men and women who look down on our humble lives and shine with joy and love.

I went outside last night and looked at the stars. I grew up in Southern California, where there aren’t many stars. Even in Texas, light pollution obscures all but a few dozen. But nevertheless, there they were, twinkling away in the heavens. The sheer number of stars, and the realization that there are millions more than I could see, was astounding. And the millions and millions of miles between us was amazing as well. The universe is so great, so big, so mind-bogglingly enormous, that contemplating the heavens should make any man feel humbled to the point of insignificance.

Bring it back down, bring it back down tonight…

But somewhere along the way, we stopped looking at the stars. Maybe it’s because the lights of the city distract us from contemplating the eternal, and so the heavens became unimportant to us.

Or maybe it’s because we tried to bring them down to our level, and bridge that gap between earth and sun. We use telescopes and cameras to understand the world, learning what a star is only to forget what a star means. We seek to learn out of a sense of wonder and whimsy, and somewhere along the way we lose that wonder, and the whimsy is replaced with a lab coat. Rather than being humbled by the enormity of God’s creation, we grow confident in our ability to comprehend the deepest mysteries of the universe, though our understanding is so very superficial. What should cause us to feel small only makes us feel grand indeed, as we shrink the world down into pieces small enough to fit into our tiny brains. We are like the playground bullies who belittle the universe in order to make ourselves feel big and tough and wise.

What does it mean to consider the heavens?

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2 Comments »

  1. Rebecca said,

    Good post.

  2. Laura said,

    One of my favorite activities is stargazing because it really puts into perspective our position in the universe. As everyday life gets more and more complicated, people tend to forget about things outside of their personal spheres. There is nothing more beautiful than a night sky so clear that we see for ourselves why this is called the Milky Way. I wish Phoenix had less light pollution so that I could see the stars in their glory every night. As much as the human eye can see, there is so much more that we cannot see, which is what adds wonder to the beauty. It’s nice to hear that someone else enjoys basking in the starlight as much as I do. 🙂 I second all your sentiments!


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