Honest to God, Session 5: Stargazing

By Rene Holt

stargazingI am writing this column just a week after returning from a vacation in Hawaii. In my mind I am still savoring the sensations of the island — fragrant orchid leis, warm breezes, the roar of the ocean waves, the laughter of children playing just outside our room. I wish I could box it all up to be pulled out on wet, chilly days.

As much as we enjoyed the warm days by the ocean, our most memorable experience occurred more than 13,000 feet above sea level. Nick and I took a tour to the summit of Mauna Kea, a dormant volcano and home of 13 observatories. Before reaching the top, we donned parkas with warm hoods and gloves. We soon needed them.

After watching the sunset, we drove to a spot isolated from ambient light. Once I had adjusted to the thin air and the darkness that surrounded me, I looked up — and gasped! I have never seen stars like that! The Milky Way spread from one horizon to the other. Stars and planets seemed to leap out of the sky from hundreds, even thousands, of light years away.

We enjoyed hearing our guides’ lectures and peering into the telescopes at the moons surrounding Jupiter and far away galaxies. But I was taken aback by their many references to the “big bang” that supposedly brought about this wondrous universe. How can they view this magnificent sight, night after night, and believe it all happened by accident? I wondered.

I carefully worked my way back to Nick. After double checking to make sure I wasn’t grabbing the wrong man, I put my arms around him and whispered the words of Psalm 8:3-4: “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him?” (NIV).

Together we gazed up and cherished our private worship experience. “O, LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!” (Ps. 8:1, NIV).

matureliving0713This article originally appeared in the March 2010 issue of Mature Living. Subscribe.

 

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