Sue Monk Kidd writes in her book Where the Heart Waits, ”When my daughter was small she got the dubious part of the Bethlehem star in a Christmas play. After her first rehearsal she burst through the door with her costume, a five-pointed star lined in shiny gold tinsel designed to drape over her like a sandwich board. ‘What exactly will you be doing in the play?’ I asked her. ’I just stand there and shine,’ she told me.”
What a beautiful image! She just stands there and shines. Life gets so confusing at times, and the Holidays can be a dark time for many people. Bring yourself back to the simplicity of a young child in a Christmas pageant radiating light from a sandwich board.
You don’t have to uncover the meaning of life. You don’t have to solve world hunger. You don’t have to be perfectly together and on top of things. You just have to shine your own unique light in the world and trust its glow. When life is overwhelming and you can’t see your way forward, remember that you don’t need to map out all the steps or plan your whole future. Just follow the star of your inner light to reveal the next step and know that you are part of a universe that will carry you with its momentum if you stop resisting.
Biologist Ursula Goodenough said,
“The realization that I needn’t have answers to the Big Questions has served as an epiphany. I lie on my back under the stars and the unseen galaxies and I let their enormity wash over me.”
The star is a universal symbol of guidance, and a popular symbol at Christmas. No matter what your perspective on religion, Christmas is an awesome time to reflect on stars, light and new birth. They are all related. The painter Van Gogh once said, “When I have a terrible need of – shall I say the word – religion. Then I go out and paint the stars.”
Every new birth is a miracle forged in balls of gas burning billions of miles away. Every person, every thing in the world, shines with the glow of a supernova. For each person born there are 1.5 trillion stars. The mind boggles. Which is more miraculous; a star or a birth? Are they even separate? As above, so below. Life goes on. The Christmas miracle.
This Christmas, when you have the need for fresh perspective or encouragement, look to one of your 1.5 trillion stars and let its immensity wash over you.
Abraham Heschel, 20th century Jewish theologian said, “We can never sneer at the stars, mock the dawn or scoff at the totality of being. Sublime grandeur evokes unhesitating, unflinching awe. Away from the immense, cloistered in our own concepts, we may scorn and revile everything. But standing between earth and sky, we are silenced by the sight.”
What are the stars saying to you? Your intuition can be trusted. It often points you beyond the life you have planned and on to the life that is waiting for you; a life of extraordinary goodness and beauty. If the wonder and clarity of your intuition eludes you, then gaze at the stars and know that you are as much star as you are flesh and blood.
Above you are the stars. Beneath you is the earth. Within you is the light of life. Like the stars may your vision be clear. Like the earth, may your life be grounded. Like the light within, may your spirit shine.
I am star struck by the wonder of it all. Namaste.