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Sabbatical Journal Six: Stewardship or Survival – What Covid-19 Has Taught Me About Care For Creation. — 2 Comments

  1. Such a beautiful posting! This pandemic has also given me (perhaps too much) time to think about how I’ve approached the world about me – specifically my activity as an amateur astronomer. I miss terribly our star parties and the camaraderie of hanging out for hours under a cloudless sky, exchanging views through each others’ eyepieces, and admiring the work of the imagers amongst us.

    It’s all too easy to fall into the trap of “I need this eyepiece” or “I need more aperture” or some other equipment related “lust” (let’s call it like it is). But the last several weeks have made me realize that behind all such material wants is a deeper, and far more sinister) drive – to impose my will on the cosmos. I will COMPEL that galaxy, that nebula, that smudge on the Martian disk to march to my tune, to obey my whims.

    But I am beginning to learn (and none too willingly) how to let the stars have their own way. If the trees in the neighbor’s yard are blocking my view of a particular object, so be it! Allow the rotating Earth to bring them into view in their own time. And for the meantime, look at something else. If the wind is too strong to use my telescope at all, then gaze up naked eye. The star clusters and nebulae that we spend so much effort to observe are no more beautiful than the constellations themselves, which we cannot see through our telescopes. (They are too big.)

    The same goes for my own life. I’ve been stuck in this house (and, mercifully, its back yard) for weeks now, but I’ve taken in the FACT that ultimately, my life is not under my control. And I need to realize that, to take it in, to absorb it. All those plans that I had… I should have listened long ago to James:

    Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and get gain”; whereas you do not know about tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and we shall do this or that.” (James 4:13-15)

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