If there was ever a reason to live out in the mountains or the dessert, it would be for the stars.
Out here, living in the ‘burbs, I get to see some stars. But, c’mon, looking at stars with rooftops for a skyline is like trying to watch the latest block buster movie on the airplane with Mr. Big and Tall sitting in front of you. Not so good.
It’s only when I’m out where the air cools down to a bite, where the mountains and her trees form a trellis for the sky, can I get lost stargazing.
I become a child again, sitting or lying down in the dark, on a cool rock or the bumpy ground. I like how the night gets quiet. My body relaxed, my ears perk up hearing the wind, the trees, and even my own heartbeat.
Then, the stars appear. They shine down on me in stardust radiance.
Stargazing. It never fails to take my breath away.
I can’t help, but long to faithgaze in the same way.
No matter how long I’ve been a Christian, I still consider myself a newbie to faithgazing. Like Abraham who was first pointed to the stars, I too, turn to the stars for inspiration.
When I focus on my own abilities and my circumstances, I easily get locked into fears of the bad that could happen.
How long is this journey? Am I on the right path?
Should I follow my heart at this fork in the road.. or my mind?
What is my next step?
All these questions put the focus on me and my decision making.
The stars of faith disappear right along with the city lights of fear and self-reliance.
What does a faithgazer like me do?
Here’s a quick take on how I’m learning the art of faithgazing:
1. Faithgazing conditions are at night.
It’s dark. We can’t see.
Perfect. God is the only one who can work in the dark. This is where only He can provide the light. One day at a time. One word at a time.
“If I say,
‘Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,’ even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.” Psalm 139:11-12
2. I need time to adjust my eyes to the dark, so I can focus on faith more clearly.
It’s important to stay calm when we run into a patch of uncertainty and a time of waiting. Faith becomes clearer when we remember that God is the one with the plan, not us.
“We walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7
We’re supposed to be in the dark, in the realm of faith.
3. Faithgazing is a lot more fun if you do it with someone who is familiar with the constellations.
I have a friend who is an avid hobby astronomer who holds an infinite trivia of stars, planets and galaxy what-nots. A few pointers from him and my eyes pop wide awake, stargazing away.
Faithgazing with a wise friend works the same. I look out into my walk and only see a bunch of random thoughts or questions. But, a warm hearted sojourner who has done her share of faithgazing can come alongside and point out beautiful patterns of God’s workings.
It’s amazing how I can go from discouraged to faithgazing after spending time with a faithgazer!
4. Faithgazing is a growing walk, made clearer under God’s word.
There is no getting around this one. God’s word gives us orientation of where is north and south. It is the only reliable map to the spiritual truths that can open our eyes to faithgaze.
‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'” Matthew 4:4
5. We ask God to open our spiritual eyes.
Sometimes when we try to faithgaze without prayer, it’s like going out stargazing with our sunglasses still on.
We try to find spiritual direction and encouragement relying on human effort and wisdom. The good news is that we all have been given the mind of Christ, so we have the equipment.
The key is to take time out in prayer to use it.
“I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you” Ephesians 1:18
Faithgazing, developed over time and intention, becomes breathtaking, like stargazing on a clear, starlit night.
“Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6
C’mon. Add to today’s Quick Guide to Faithgazing.
I love getting tips from other faithgazers!
What are your observations and tips?
Today's post is Part 3 of the series Slaying My Dragons of Fear.
Be sure to read:
Part I: My review of Max Lucado's newly released book Fearless: Imagine Your Life Without Fear
Part 2: Are You a Feargazer?
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