I couldn’t remember the first time I gazed up at the night skies. How young was I? How naive or innocent were my thoughts? How long did such a moment last?
I do clearly remember the day I first read about the Stargazer, a nickname for a fictional fairy tale hero. Amusingly, that title never bore any relevance to the actual story. I couldn’t even remember the entire plot. But I can still clearly imagine the vague image picture of the scene: a young boy staring at the skies, his mind swirling and overflowing with ideas, yet which is devoid of coherent thought.
Just like a cloudless night sky brimming with stars.
And a cool breeze gently keeping me company.
And a kaleidoscope of memories from various timelines of my life converging on a single thought:
“God, how beautiful are these stars!”
A lot of my life’s turning points seem to gravitate around a star-inspired introspection. Like that one boy scout campus camp during my sophomore year, where I had an unexpected heart-to-heart listening to my squad leader.
Or those long nights where I overstayed at a friend’s house just enjoying countless conversations that extended until morning.
Or that night during my graduation, where I realized how sad I am knowing that my entire academic achievements and high school reputation were meaningless and soon to be forgotten.
Or those Christmas and New Year’s Eves where I try to remember the family I had forgotten.
Or the times where we stayed over at Atoy’s house, and I would just sneak away from the YEP gang to go to the roof and just be alone.
Or that night where I, for the first time in my life, did not have a place to stay and sleep – and waited for morning at the garden benches of the Naga City Hall.
Or those nights where I shared my heart to the youth assigned to my group in a youth camp a few years back.
Or that night where I had a fight with a pastor during a youth camp, lost the argument, and found myself broken.
Or that night when I was in a Christian conference in Baguio, and I realized and admitted how lonely I really felt.
Or that night on my first youth camp, where I learned to hide how lonesome I really am.
Or those countless nights where I, as I walk home alone, silently cry and try to strengthen my resolve.
I guess stargazing is God’s unique and incomparable way of reminding us how futile and trivial our lives are, how everything we do, invent, trend, and invest in simply fade away, die or just plain get forgotten. I mean, even if somebody invents an app to simulate stargazing, it can never replace or even imitate the sheer limitless wonder of the experience.
“When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?” | Psalm 6:3-4 NIV
“Show me, LORD, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is. You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Everyone is but a breath, even those who seem secure.” | Psalm 39:4-5 NIV
Oh God. I’m thirty.
But hey, the stars are still as pretty as when You first created them.
Or at least, as I remember them.