A few weeks ago I got up early and watched the lunar eclipse, the bright ball of a moon glowing orange in the inky sky. As I stood outside in the predawn, I got to thinking about the night sky . . . a topic I can’t say I’ve pondered much before (then again, I’m not usually pondering much of anything at o-dark-thirty).
The thing about the moon is that it doesn’t have much to commend it on its own. By itself, the moon is little more than a craggy mass of rock. It’s only when the sun reflects off its surface that it is able to light up the night sky. Without the sun, we’d never see the moon at all—not its fingernail-clipping crescent or its full-orbed harvest glow.
And then there are the stars, which march out one by one to the same spot every night. They twinkle from their designated places, glowing modestly from the formations they’ve stood in for generations. Their beauty comes not so much from being the flashiest or the brightest but from where they shine in the dark sky.
When I think about this media-saturated culture we live in, sometimes I wonder if we all feel undue pressure to Dream Big and to Do Significant Things and to Refuse to Settle for Ordinary. And while yes, it’s important to chase after the visions God has planted inside of us, sometimes I think we can get hung up on flashiness instead of obedience.
What if sometimes God wants us to just shine where we are?
If one day the moon decided it no longer wanted to remain in the line of the sun, we wouldn’t benefit from its nightly glow. If a star in the Big Dipper decided it wanted more of the limelight and stepped out of formation, we’d be deprived of its unique display of light.
So maybe there’s a lesson for us in the night sky. We aren’t called to be the brightest or the best—we’re just called to show up in the ordinary moments and reflect the Light.
- Maybe you’re called to shine as you do another load of laundry.
- Maybe you’re called to shine in that same old job, day after day.
- Maybe you’re called to shine as you listen, really listen, to the cashier at the grocery store.
- Maybe you’re called to shine as you serve someone who doesn’t seem to appreciate you, to love someone who doesn’t seem to love you back.
Today, I urge to reflect his light—right where you are. Show up and shine—right where you are.
He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name.