They say that you can’t really, truly star-gaze in the city (or the suburbs, for that matter), due to all the extra lights and smog, but I think I beg to differ. Sure, it takes my eyes ages to adjust out here, but I’ve already spotted the Big Dipper and Cassiopeia.
It’s beautiful. Wondrous. The constellations are easily seen, even by an untrained star aficionado like me, which makes me wonder why exactly God picked those shapes when he was setting them in place. Why a ladle? Why a “W”? What’s up with Orion and his special belt? Andromeda?
All I know is that out here, where the noise is limited to the distant traffic, the wind brushing up against the trees on its way to wherever it goes, and the occasional wind chime, peace overwhelms. You know, the kind of peace that you can feel, as in physically? Where the knots in your stomach unwind and your clenched teeth relax, and the hands that make fists at people during the day fold in your lap, at rest.
Maybe part of this is that I’m alone. I am the only person out here. There is no one to talk to, no on to laugh with, no one to tell how proud of myself I am that I found two whole constellations and remembered the names.And that is beautiful as well.
There are few times when I am totally alone, apart from people entirely. I’ve forgotten how refreshing this is. I’m sitting here, in my Lucille Ball pajamas (pink and white striped with a collar and button down… I’m not sure why my mom calls them Lucille Ball pajamas, but that’s what they are.) with the stars bright above me and my heart at rest. Rest is hard to come by in a society like ours when so much is based on impressions, how one comes across. If you don’t speak as eloquently as you could, people could get the idea that you’re simple, and of course, no one wants to be seen that way. If you don’t look quite put together, people wonder if you’ve even glanced in the mirror yet today. Without charisma and likability, your social life will be limited to those who have the perspective and experience to know that presenting the person you really are to the world is a multi-faceted difficulty. 1) If you don’t know who you are, it’s highly unlikely that you can portray that to someone else. 2) If you’re not secure in who you are or think that the personality God gave you isn’t accepted in the people that you want to like you, you’ve got a problem. and 3) consistency is just hard. especially when you’re 17.
I know that I want to be the real deal. really care. Truly want to hear about the details of your week. Honestly not carry judgment or superiority about you because I know what you’ve done, but I don’t know all that you struggle with. Genuinely want people to feel valued and act on it.
As a Christian, I often feel like I get told the “should”s of my faith. We should love everyone. We should tell everyone about our faith in God and how it’s changed our lives forever. We should serve.
What good do these things do if they stem from a heart that is compulsively doing them? Does anyone want someone to ask how their day was and listen to their problems just because they feel like they must? And how do I stop myself from being a fake servant, friend, daughter, employee, student, athlete, conversationalist, blogger, activist, writer, artist, God-follower?
I was trying to think of the right way to say “ingenuine” or “ungenuine” or “not gennuine”. Then I remembered: FAKE.
How will I ever be the kind of Christian that shows people who God really is and what He’s about if I’m not giving from my heart? If I haven’t asked God to make me like Him for REAL and to make what flows from my heart be compassion and humility and love, then I am fake. An imitation of what could be so much better.
It’s like those stars that you put on the ceiling that glow at night. They’re fake. Plastic. An imitation of something that is so majestic and beautiful. I wish I could get on my rooftop right now so that I could see more of the real deal. And that’s what I want to be. A Christian that compels others to want to see more of the real deal. To want to see more of God.
My conclusions I have drawn from all this boil down to the simple fact that I need more time in the presence of God… and only Him so that what flows out of me is all that He is.
Having drawn these conclusions, I will now trade Macky for my Jonathan (my guitar).
Have I mentioned that it’s beautiful out here?