My alarm went off at 4:00 a.m. I stumbled out of bed and headed to the deck off the family room. I peered into the pre-dawn sky and saw two stars and a bunch of clouds. Rats! Another year, another disappointment.
Once again, I fell for the meteorologist’s report of the spectacular meteor shower that would be visible on that early August morning. I thought it would be different this year. Rather than being in my suburban town with its ambient light, I was in the mountains of North Carolina. Surely, I would have better luck here.
My sister-in-law was visiting so we agreed to meet on the deck at 4:00 a.m. for the spectacular show. (Our husbands told us to enjoy ourselves, they would hear about it in the morning). When I woke up and saw that the clouds were obscuring all but two little stars, I almost went back to bed. Instead, I curled up on the couch, determined to check again. A few minutes later my sister-in-law came into the room and I told her the sad news. We walked out on the deck to check one more time and WOW! The sky was amazing!
We were mesmerized by a sky full of stars and then it happened – swoosh! A bright light streaked across the sky. As our eyes adjusted to the darkness we saw many more meteors streaking across the sky in every direction. It was magic. We were enthralled and after about 30 minutes we retreated to our beds with sore necks from looking up but hearts full from the experience.
I remembered another amazing, star-filled night I experienced a decade earlier. It is still one of the most spectacular experiences of my life. I was on a mission trip in the Amazon region of Brazil and we had an overnight trip on the Amazon River. I slept in a hammock, on a boat, on the Amazon River. I woke up during that night and saw a sky unlike anything I had ever seen before. It was breathtakingly beautiful. It looked as if we were under a bowl of black velvet with millions of tiny holes poked in it and illuminated from behind by some unknown light source.
I finally understood what God meant when he told Abraham that he would makes his descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky. (Genesis 15:5) It was easy to imagine Abraham looking up into the night sky and seeing a similar sight to what I saw in Brazil. Much different that the night sky I see in my hometown.
I guess you could say I’m star-struck. I know come next August, I will once again set my alarm, wake up in the middle of the night and scan the night sky for stars and meteors. I’ve already got my spot picked out.
How about you? Are you a star-struck, star-gazer? Do you set your alarm to wake up for meteor showers? Do you find it interesting that one of the first songs we teach our children is Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star?