One of the delights of living in the country, in a small village outside Oxford, is returning home at night, stepping out of the car, and looking up at the night sky, so vast and tranquil.
We live at the end of a dirt road, where all houses stop, so there are generally no lights to dim the brightness of the stars.
It is calming to stop and look up at the silent beauty of the stars. “Le silence eternel de ces espaces infinis” as Pascal puts it, the eternal silence of the infinite spaces.
* * *
Abraham, stuck in his tent of impossibility, was told to step out, look at the heavens. And count the stars.
An impossible task.
And a reminder that nothing is impossible for him who made those stars, and called them each by name.
Look up. Count the stars. And when you grow tired, remember the tireless one who made them.
* * *
Don Miller tries to make his book Blue Like Jazz into a movie. He hits obstacles. His life does not have a satisfying plot. He needs to lose 150 pounds, but does not pursue the goal in a consistent way. He would like to trace the father, who abandoned him, but has not pursued that consistently either. He sees these false starts and dead ends destroy the shapely form of the story of his life.
In A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, he describes how he set about changing the story he was writing with his life. He loses the 150 pounds. He finds his father.
* * *
Does your life have dreams long deferred, goals you should have accomplished, but haven’t?
Mine does. One is finishing the memoir on which I worked off and on for 15 years, and which, to be honest, had reached daunting proportions. And the other is reaching optimal health for my age, which includes weight loss. Still another dream is waking at 5 o’clock!
* * *
And the key to accomplishing both these goals will be saturating them in prayer. Placing the petri dish with my prayer requests in the force field of God’s power.
Remembering not to try to accomplish these goals on my own, but through constantly asking for and accessing, “his incomparably great power for us who believe, which is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead.”
Living by faith. Continually leaning on God’s power and help and grace and ideas.
Oh, help me, God.