Monday, September 23, 2013
By: J. Devlin
I attended a high school that had its very own planetarium. As a kid who would rather do anything than chemistry, I was excited to see the option for stargazing hiding in the course descriptions for senior year. Could it be? Can I get out of high school with credit for taking astronomy instead of chemistry? It’s worth a try, I thought to myself. With the guidance counselor’s approval and class schedule in hand, I wove my way through the hallways until I found the subtle enclave with the right room number affixed above the door.
The first day of class, we all filed into the covert hideaway nestled between the library and the main hall. Each row of reclining seats beckoned the new students with a comfort we had not been given in any other class on campus. It was almost too much to bear when the instructor asked us to lean back in reclining chairs in a pitch dark room and look at the projected scene on the ceiling. We all looked at each other and just knew this was the best-kept secret of the school.
For a whole semester, we began our day in easy chairs and dim light—almost as if we were still at home under the covers hitting the snooze button one more time. Amidst the comfort and constant presentations, we learned many things about the universe the Father created, and now I’m grateful for that class. Not only because I could check a block for graduation, but my semester in astronomy also gave me memories and a love for the sky that would have eluded me without the need for a high school science credit.
For as long as there have been stars in the sky, there have been people fascinated with the starry hosts in view each night. Centuries of star gazers and galactic researchers have brought us detailed explanations of the placement, qualities, and intricacies of the solar system. While the nighttime display is beautiful and majestic, the excitement for the unknown treasures above the earth’s atmosphere has caused quite a stir. In their zeal for understanding the things above, some people over the ages have misplaced their focus of worship from Creator to the created stellar objects. May we never fall prey to such deception.
We are never to worship the celestial creations. We are created to worship the one true God who created the vision we see in the sky. The vastness of the nighttime display pales in comparison to the unending power and majesty of our God. He is big—real big. The Father’s presence is greater than the furthest reaches of the universe. As we look to the sky in wonder of sun, moon, and stars above, let us be mindful of the God who gave us the massive display.