Monday, December 17, 2007

Anybody Need a Star?

Have you ever envied the “three wise men” of Christmas tradition? I don’t envy them a long Camel ride, or even having enough gold to spare giving some away. What I really envy is their star. They started on a trip with a clear objective… follow the star.

I wish I had a star to follow. I spend far too much time trying to decide which goal I should be pursuing right now. Nothing wrong with writing, but maybe my time spent writing this would be better spent writing a note to my mother. If I just had a shining miraculous star to show me the path, I could feel confident that I was always doing the right thing, pursuing the right course of action.

But if you read the story carefully, at some point, the star disappeared. What did the wise men do then? If they were like me, they wandered about confused and uncertain. But like I said, they were wise men so, we could be pretty sure they did something different. They thought. They reasonably decided that the most likely place for a king to be born was in the closest palace, so they headed to the palace of King Herod. Sure enough, they got enough information to be back on the right track, and the star re-appeared.

The truth is, that most of the time, I actually do have a Star…not a visual light in the sky, but a written light in the darkness. It says “Love your enemies,” “Give a cup of cold water in my name,” “visit the widows and the orphans,” “Love your neighbor as yourself” and plenty other things, but that’s enough to focus on most of the time.

But what happens when I’m in a place and can’t see the path? Should I be writing this, or should I be writing a note to my mother? The star is a bit too unclear for me. Well, that’s when a wise man would stop, think, make a reasonable decision, and proceed.

That’s all for now, I’m going to write a short note to my mother.

POSTSCRIPT: I sent an e-mail note to my mother a few minutes after this was posted. My brother read it to her that night. She died about 28 hours later. I feel grateful that The Bright and Morning Star led me.

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