10/2/08

Stargazing



Every once in a while a wonderful opportunity lands in my lap...such as finding a $100 bill in the quad rumpled up on the ground at LSU...then finding a guy selling two tickets for face value, $50, each...and enjoying the LSU vs. MSU game on the house with a good friend.

As wonderful as that was (thank you Jesus!), tonight was even better.

I had the chance to take Jack stargazing. I know it may sound dorky to some of you. It was apparently just that to the dozens of cheezy teenagers wandering aimlessly around out there tonight making stupid cracks revealing more than they probably wanted to about their character and IQ as they collected the little cards for "extra credit". Allow me to illustrate my observations. One comment I overheard was a perfect example of why I am not impressed with our public school system or the quality of those "yewts" in said system...teenage girl to astronomer with telescope: "So which Jupiter is this?" exactly


Anyway, Jupiter was in plain telescopic view showing off four of its moons. Beautiful. Stunning. Dazzling.

Also visible tonight was a star cluster, I didn't get the name, but it was brilliantly stunning. I told a friend earlier this evening that it looked like a "sneeze of stars". I'd like to rephrase that...it looked like someone had a handful of diamonds all shapes and sizes and even diamond dust and just casually dusted one corner the black sky with them...like how Mamaw dusted her counter with flour before she rolled out a dough. Amazing.

We also saw what I think was called a star eclipse. The professor manning that telescope described it to Jack this way, "This is like the double sunset Luke Skywalker saw on Tatouine." Jack replied, "Oh yeah! It is!" I'm thinking, "Ok, whatever...glad you got that."

Neptune showed up too.

Then the clouds rolled in and we rolled out.

What a wonderful evening. I think people have over used the word "awesome" to the point that it has lost its weight in conversation. Everything is not "awesome", however, what we saw tonight was indeed Awesome. The icing on the cake was watching my Jack peek into each eyepiece excited about what he would see, then hearing him describe in his own words his glimpse of the heavens. At one of the first telescopes we stopped at I leaned over his shoulder and softly spoke in Jack's ears these words, "Jack, the same God who made Jupiter and its moons made you." "I know Mom," he said. The astronomer manning the telescope said, "That's right, He sure did."

Awesome.

I feel like I had a visit with God Himself tonight. Like he called me over and said, "Hey, you wanna see something neat?" Yeah, whatcha got? As He reached in His pocket and pulled out just a few of His treasures to show me in the palm of His hand, my breath leaves me for a heartbeat. Those are beautiful! "I got a lot more too. I'll show them to you up close one day." Sounds great, I can't wait!

This was so much more than just showing up for "extra credit". Had those kids actually peeked into the eyepiece and glimpsed God's wonderful creation, would they have realized what they were seeing? Maybe, maybe not. I did. My seven and a half year old son did too. I hope it stays with him, even when he is a teenager. I hope he never forgets how wonderfully he was created by The Creator...the same God that put the stars in place.

"He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name. Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit." Psalm 147:4-5

"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, the son of man that you care for him?" Psalm 8:3-4