Ever look up at the night sky and marvel at the stars thinking how many can there be? Hundreds, millions, trillions. Not being a scientist I have no idea. But I do know there are a lot and God has made a very complex creation filled with mysteries that we will never figure out.
So too, our lives when looked at as a vast universe of complexities can lead us to one word, fragmentation. If we take the major moments of our lives, placing each on a star how many would there be to look upon? Maybe not trillions, but it could fill up a sky with fragments of time. And if each star could reflect the good and bad of those moments how many would shine brightly and how many would be dim, barely visible?
Think of how quickly we can blow any good situation into fragments by bad decisions? We can be really good most of the time and still bring chaos to serenity quickly by not being wise. When the Bible talks about sin, are any of us capable of perfection and always shining like stars? The answer to me lies in the stories of lives that represent fragments in the Bible, just as Jesus taught talked in fragmented parables.
Boom, there goes Peter flying off the handle, boom, there goes Peter preaching up a storm, boom, there goes Peter in a religious controversy, boom, there goes Peter dying for his faith. Bang, there goes Paul thinking he is perfect, bang, he gets shot down to size and blinded, bang, he's preaching for the very thing he was against, bang, he is picking thorns out of his side.
I say this to help all of us know, me included, that perfection is a big unreachable word for us as humans. Because we are so fragmented and vulnerable to life itself, we can only look up and hope we make many more good choices that light up our stars, an less that dim our story.
Jesus made those choices all good ones, Peter and Paul, not so. Without understanding the aspect of forgiveness we miss the entire point of our faith. He takes all the fragments of what we do and puts them all in place to represent his work of art that we are after we turn it all over to him.
Sort of like us then , "shining like stars in the universe!" We become his brightest lights.
Glenn is an ex-Marine Viet Nam vet who is also a recovering alcoholic, clean and sober for 30 years. He has been involved in start up and ongoing recovery ministry at North Atlanta Church and Campus for the last two decades. He has a passion for outreach and to spread the message that the answer to lasting and fulfilling recovery from addiction is in a relationship with Jesus Christ. He and the ATB team are available to assist in your questions or needs on an individual basis and will do so maintaining complete confidentiality. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.