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Wednesday, April 7, 2010
I find stars completely enthralling. I could gaze at them all night. I stared into space curled up in about 7 different layers of clothes and blankets for about an hour this evening. I haven't just relaxed on the ground looking up into heaven for a very long time. At least since last summer. But I don't remember actually going stargazing at all last summer, so it might even be longer. (Unless waiting until nightfall in Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and then looking up into the sky and finding all of your favorite constellations which the makers of this brilliant game so awesomely put in all the right spots counts as star gazing... but I don't think it does.)
As I lay there tonight, searching the skies for Cassiopeia and Orion, I felt so infinitely small. It's a feeling I get quite often when I star gaze. The universe is so vast, and goes on forever, something completely unfathomable to me. I remember the first time I went to the Clark Planetarium at the Gateway Mall in Salt Lake City. At the top of the stairs is an exhibit about the solar system.
They have large models of each planet, scaled to show how much bigger or smaller one planet is from another. The earth is huge. We all live on it, and even if we were the most privileged person in the world and spent our entire life roaming over its surface, we would never see everything it has to offer. It's that vast. Earth looked like a tennis ball compared to Jupiter. Jupiter was about as tall as I am, maybe even taller. (5'8" if you're curious.) It completely dwarfed our little planet. Now, when I think about just how big our planet is, and if Jupiter is that much bigger... I feel like a tiny little speck. And we're only in one stretch of the galaxy. And there are boundless other galaxies out there. Space is infinite.
I lay there on my front lawn, and while I could have felt like I didn't matter, that I was just one of billions of people on this tiny little place we call Earth; I felt so incredibly loved. There's a purpose to everything. To every single person's life. I looked up into that beautiful dark sky sprinkled with twinkling stars that are so far away, the light has traveled years just so I can see a tiny little glimmer of it's magnitude; and felt my Heavenly Father's love. He made all of this, the ground at my back, the sky above me, even my own body. I owe him so much. I have so much to be thankful for.