Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Make a Wish on a Falling Star

I must be on some kind of nature kick these days, because on top of my enormous love ballad to autumn that I composed in my last entry, tonight I jeopardized sleep in order to partake of a meteor shower, which I've never witnessed before!

The scene that my imagination produced as I was waiting for the show to begin was this epic barrage of shooting stars falling from the heavens, taking the whole "shower" part pretty literally. I was waiting around for there to be tons of meteors plummeting toward the horizon in a spectacular display of falling globes of fire.

That, however, is more like a clip from a movie like Armageddon. In real life, meteor showers tend to be a little more sporadic, it seems to me. Sarah (my delightful roommate) and I were lying on towels in the grass for an hour, chatting absentmindedly while gazing up at the sky in anticipation of something so mind-blowing that Tchaikovsky would immediately begin to play in the air from no discernible source -- that mind-blowing. Yet we mostly were just waiting for something to happen. We saw two pretty clear meteors fly by within a minute of each other, and a couple more random ones that were harder to see. The stars were beautiful and the few we saw were still pretty neat, but it wasn't the thing we'd cracked it up to be.

My growing awareness of God's presence in every single part of my life seems to be a double-edged sword: on the one hand, I find myself quicker to pray to Him in times of need and when I just think about something troubling me, and also quicker to be thankful when I realize how happy I am about what's going on in my life. At the same time, it's easy for me to just blame Him in passing for stuff that I would not have ordinarily pinned as His doing, necessarily. Tonight, without being absurdly outraged or anything like that, I couldn't help but ask, "God, could you send a few more? This show isn't really as good as I'd thought it would be. I want more. Show me more of what I imagined. Blow me away."

Just recently, Sarah told me something that one of the leaders of her campus ministry repeats over and over for everyone. "God is not a genie!"

And I totally believe that. I mean, I've prayed for a bunch of things over the years, ridiculous and genuine, and I know He hasn't concretely answered those prayers in the way I had hoped or expected Him to. If He'd done everything I'd asked of Him, I know He wouldn't be a good God. Plain and simple. I've prayed for some really stupid things that I had no business asking for or telling Him. I also pitch a little fit when I feel like other people are praying for petty things that I think are too self-centered to be a cog in the great machine of God's plan for His kingdom.

Or something like that.

However, I have certainly not surrendered everything that I want to His will in this way; I would be a complete hypocrite not to say so. I still pray about things that in and of themselves may not be bad things, but are still things that I want to glorify me and fulfill just my little needs that I think I have, rather than asking God to act for His own glorification and the fulfillment of the things He has said He would. I look at my desires and think, "Hey, these are perfectly godly things to want. The bible says nothing about getting married, having kids, and living in a castle in France being bad."

But how selfish and foolish am I to be sure that these are the very things that will move the kingdom of God closer to fruition? Why in the world would I believe I have the wisdom to come up with a plan better than that of the Creator of the whole universe and its laws and matter?

I mean, read that last sentence slowly, out loud. It kills me how much of a doofus I am to believe that. Yet every day, surely at least once, I let my mind wander to that little corner and fester in its own sinful creativity, devising plans for my own glory, not His.

Which should be one in the same, correct? (I'm thinking of an Ephesians 3:8 kind of train of thought here, where humility brings God glory, and eventually myself. Yeah. That's it.)

So what if God's plan for those meteors was to stay hidden from the little patch of grass by the duck pond that I was plopped down on? I mean, there's no way I'd know why that is the way it is, how He fabricated the laws of physics that would determine their whereabouts and my ability to watch them soar across the sky. And I'm becoming more and more okay with the idea that I am not meant to know, even if I had half the capability to do so.

Wondering about what I was missing could have distracted me from the absolute beauty of the twinkling stars that were abundant tonight anyway.

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