Walking home one evening from the coffee shop that serves as my office I noticed my place in the universe. I had just minutes before finished up a meeting about the church some friends and I are starting. As I walked along with the cold concrete under my feet and evening chill on my face, I happened to look up and notice the sky.
Its odd to say that one notices the sky, because the sky is one of the most consistent and available parts of our lives. Its always there. Always just over head. In Spring or Fall. On Monday and Fridays alike. Day or night. In brilliant blue, burning orange or jet black. Always available for the gazing. In times of remorse or rejoice. But on this night the clouds were low and spotty. Past them I could see into the furthest reaches of the universe.
From that brief glace skyward I felt so small. One man walking through an almost forgotten end of a parking lot in one of a 1000 vanilla towns, in a middle class state of a vast country on the west side of the planet, whirling around as the third planet from a fiery star located on the outskirts of a seven armed galaxy lost among the nearly endless universe.
So small. So insignificance. So inconsequential. To validate my feeling, I thought of the 10s, 100s, 1000s, and 100,000s of people who died that day without my noticing. Death was happening at that moment. Life was happening all around me too. Travelers moving North. Wanderers going South. This moment was someone’s dream come true, while simultaneously the total collapse of another’s world.
Did anyone notice? Did the daily events of my life, or anyone else’s for that matter, flash across anyone’s radar screen? Did I walk in total obscurity and anonymity?
But then my thoughts turned to the existence of God. There has to be more to life than just my life. There has to be more to find in the innumerable stars, stretches of light years and the incomprehensible complexity our universe. How could one notice the sky and not see the Creator of the sky?
Later, I read the words of a boy who spent a lot of time looking at the night sky, lost in its wonder and enormity. His sky is my sky. His stars are the ones I see. His heart is my heart. As we gaze heavenward through the sky we share a moment, a moment separated by 1000s of miles and 1000s of years:
“Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, ‘Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,’ even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”