Tuesday, December 21, 2010

They Seldom Look Up

AP Photo/ Heribert Proepper/ File  Lunar Eclipse
     Yesterday evening I tried to write this post.  Twice. The first time it was a disaster and I erased it;  the second time I was very pleased with it, but - somehow - it got "sent into space" (my terminology  for the mysterious way that sometimes a computer makes things disappear, even when you'd SWEAR you didn't touch any button, swizzle, or whoozer...).  So, I'm going to try to reconstruct the post one more time...'cause I think it's a worthy topic.
     Last night/early this morning we had a total lunar eclipse.  A total lunar eclipse occurs when the sun, moon, and earth all line up, casting a shadow over the entire moon.  A tiny bit of light filters through, giving the moon an unusual color. Scientists were saying yesterday that because of the recent volcanic eruptions, the eclipsed moon might appear darker than usual... perhaps a reddish brown...We got up in the middle of the night to see it, but there was total cloud cover.  I was pretty disappointed;  I had hoped to take some photos.
Photo taken last night by my daughter, Melody Germain
      Today is also the "shortest day of the year" - the first day of Winter - in the northern hemisphere.  It has been three-hundred-some-odd years since this particular combination of occurrences has happened in the heavenlies. I'd be interested to know  what happened on the earth the last time.  And I am curious as to what will happen this time. Hmmmm.  curiosity mingled with fear.
     God created the heavens and the earth.   "God is not the author of confusion, but of peace." ( I Cor. 14:33)  Everything is in tremendous order.  God is neat as a pin!  And way smarter than all the earth's scientists put together.  The Creator made the stars and calls them all by name. (Psalm  147:4).  The heavens reflect what is happening on earth; or, more likely, vice versa.  So, I believe that when unusual things occur in the skies, unusual things are also occurring on our little planet.
       The Bible teaches that astrology is wrong.  Not so with astronomy.  The "Magi", or wise men,  were astronomers - men who studied the patterns in the stars as a way of reading what was happening on the earth.  Two-thousand or so years ago, the Magi saw an astral occurrence which had never before happened and which has never again occurred;  it was the star of Bethlehem, which ushered in the birth of the Messiah.
      Christ Himself spoke of signs and wonders in the skies, particularly related to His second coming: "And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;  Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh."  Luke 21: 25, 26, 28)  We can look at the created for signs, but we need to look to the Creator to worship.
     Many years ago I worked a weekend job as an RN.  I almost always worked with a certain nurse who I will call Sherry.  Sherry was difficult to work with, difficult to get along with.  She was very vocal, complaining about 'most everything and everybody.  Nobody could quite measure up to her demands, although, in fact, I was in charge, not her.  She complained bitterly about the schedule, the weather, whatever... and her conversation was punctuated with language that would make a sailor blush.   One day, when another employee couldn't find a certain piece of equipment, Sherry yelled at them, "Look on the top shelf' I #%& know it's there!"  Then, she turned to me and said, "They never look up.  They never even think to look up." I quietly answered, "You're right;  people hardly ever think to look up."  Sherry audibly gasped: the deeper meaning of my words had gotten through to her.  If only for a moment, she thought of God.  I don't know what ever happened to Sherry, and I don't know whether or not our little conversation made a difference to her.  But, it made an impact on me.  I need to spend more time looking up.  How 'bout you?
     "When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained: What is man that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man that thou visitest him?" ( Psalm 8:3,4 ) If I am not looking up to the Creator,  I have only myself to blame.  As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "Most of the shadows of this life are caused by standing in one's own sunshine."


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