The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
We used to sit under the stars at night under a big Missouri sky. It was usually on the first night with volunteers where we would do with this. There was always some nervous anticipation. They knew the next day, after some training, they would meet their camper for the first time. The guy they had been praying for all summer long to work with. The girl they hoped would become their best friend. Who they hoped they could give the best week of their year to. And it was up to us, as their cabin staff, to help draw their hearts into a place of worship and peace before the Creator.
“Take a look at one star. Just pick one out. It doesn’t have to be the biggest or brightest. Find one and look at it.”
We’d say. Cabin staff always tried to find creative ways to engage with volunteers. The first night was usually a good night to break the ice and do something extra special. Get away from the cabin. Maybe find a spot down by the dock where you could hear night animals. Near the barn where there was a big opening in the trees where the stars were brightest.
When they picked out a star, we’d ask, “What happens when you look at that star? What happens to all the other stars all around?”
Try it sometime.
You’ll notice the other ones all around it sort of fade away. You can faintly recognize them if you try, but that star. That one star is all you can really focus on.
We told our volunteers this is the rule for the week. No matter how tired you get, no matter how much you want to quit, no matter how much your camper gets on your last nerve (because serving people with disabilities is tough), just remember that you’re serving Jesus. Just focus on Him as the one fact of the week. Focus on Him as the reason you are there and all the other reasons will sort of fade away.
I’ll never forget those Missouri stars. I’ll never forget how small I felt when I stared up at them yet somehow so close to their Creator. Nothing else gets me to that same place. Not reading, not writing; just looking.
Knowing that the writer of Psalms knew the same thing:
Day to day pours out speech,
and night to night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words,
whose voice is not heard.