A starry night...
Tonight I decided to climb up the tower again, breaking through the cobwebs and passing the skeleton (oh, yeah I didn't mention that before - there is a skeleton in the tower) to stand on the top and take in the view. A view, not of the river or the beautiful green fields, but of the night's sky. The stars were magnificent tonight, millions of stars shining brightly in the dark sky.

The view got me thinking (it doesn't take much). The stars are always there, just not always visible. It depends largely on our vantage point. There have been two places that have afforded me the vantage point of seeing millions of stars: Colorado and Saint Albain, France. I wish that my camera was capable of capturing the view, so I could share it with you. The thing I've noticed is that you must escape the light of your surroundings inorder to enjoy the light of the sky. The only reason I could view the stars was because my surroundings were dark, no bright city lights clouding my view. No great mystery there.

I have found that this principle is true in life as well. The more cluttered my world becomes the harder it is to see the beauty and the light of the simple things. When I pull myself away, whether by will or by circumstance, from the significance I ascribe to task and the meaning found in relationships, it forces me to think about where I find meaning. Does meaning come from what I do, who I know, or from something outside of myself? Something about being in a foreign country, away from all of the familiar that gets a person thinking about such things.

Isaiah 42:5 This is what God the Lord says-- he who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and all that comes out of it, who gives breath to its people, and life to those who walk on it: 6 "I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles,

I'm realizing that the real meaning of our lives comes from nothing within ourselves, but from that which is outside of self. Meaning that never fades or passes comes from the God who created and breathed life into us. Just as the right vantage point allows the beauty of the stars to come to full light, so it is with a life aligned with God. I can't explain the mystery, nor will profound arguments prove it to the skeptic; I only know that the more I align myself with the vantage point of God's light, the more I experience the joy and beauty of living a life under His light. I only hope that my life reflects some of His light, and can be seen amidst the darkness of the world.

Here are the lyrics to a song by David Crowder that capture this thought. May the beauty of life not fade with the temporal, but live on in eternity by the stepping outside of self and reflecting light.

Stars by David Crowder

you should see the stars tonight
how they shimmer shine so bright
against the black they look so white
comin down from such a height
to reach me now, reach me now

you should see the moon in the flight
cuttin cross the misty night
softly dancin in sunshine
reflections of this light
reach me now, you reach me now

and how could such a thing
shine its light on me
and make everything beautiful again

and you should feel the sun in the spring
comin out after a rain
suddenly all is green
sunshine on everything
i can feel it now, i feel you now

and how could such a thing
shine its light on me
and make everything beautiful

and you should hear the angels sing
all gathered round their king
more beautiful than you could dream
i've been quietly listening
you can hear 'em now, i hear em now

and how could such a king
shine His light on me
and make everything beautiful
and i wanna shine
i wanna be light
i wanna tell you it'll be alright
and i wanna shine and i wanna fly
just to tell you now
it'll be alright, it'll be alright
it'll be alright.

cus i got nothing of my own to give to you
but this light that shines on me shines on you
and makes everything beautiful, again.
it'll be alright, it'll be alright.