Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Faults in our Stars

A few days ago I went with my mom and little brother to see a movie called "The Fault In Our Stars" about the perspective of 2 teenagers dying from cancer. I don't necessarily encourage anyone to see it, but the movie was full of great symbolism and real perspectives. Really though, the best part came from the conversation on the drive home.

I never read the book, nor had I ever heard anything about the movie. In hindsight, I still didn't know where the name of the movie came from. My brother explained one reason and added a little of his insight.

As humans, we tend to think we can connect the dots and we think our own perspective is flawless. As we look to the skys, we see beauty and mystery.  For years, people have looked up at that blanket of spotted darkness searching for explanation. We find patterns and put them together. We expect them to always work, and freak out when something breaks the known pattern of constellations and orbits. Some talk of these breaks in pattern as a sort of fault in the universe. But how on earth can we see faults in the stars when we can't even see a thousandth of the universe? The Universe as far as we know is infinite. We look up and perhaps it seems a star is missing from alignment, but it's all about perspective. If we could see the whole universe and how the stars align, perhaps things would be much more simple and perfect than we would otherwise expect.

I've seen many a starry nights around the world. Each is breathtaking. I always loved the American starry nights- especially in the mountains. I'd never seen so many stars. Until I went to Fiji.
I remember walking along the beach one night with my group and looking up at that sky. I didn't even know that many stars existed. I thought my mountain trips had allowed me to see an unpolluted sky, but when I saw the sky in Fiji, I realized how incomplete that mountain sky had actually been. And then I went to Iceland, where if I didn't already know better- I never would have know stars existed at all.
Similarly to what I wrote about a few weeks ago, perhaps what we see in our lives as "going wrong" or "out of place" is really just an incomplete picture. We expect our perfect constellations to align, when perhaps the light pollution around us is keeping us from seeing the other stars that might complete that design.

It's common in our human nature to complain and question. We ask a lot of why questions. Why would God allow so much bad and disorder in this world? Our ability to to judge His perspective is much like trying to judge the stars just based on those we see in our personal night sky- not even an 1000th of the infinite "real" sky. It is infinitely larger than we can comprehend. There's no fault in seeking out the universe. In fact, that's a perfectly positive thing to do. We should always continue to search that night sky for meaning and understanding. The fault comes as we refuse to acknowledge that there's something more and greater than our own perspective.

Friends and I the night we got together to remember a good friend
I remember several years ago when I returned back to Washington after a good friend passed away. A group of friends gathered in his backyard. His best friend slipped away for a few minutes and laid on the trampoline. He starred up at the sky for quite some time, certainly trying to make sense of the situation. It didn't make sense. Our friend was a fantastic person and a wonderful friend. It was the last day of school when a rainy road took him out of this world. But why? I thought God wanted us to be happy? I thought God wanted families to be together forever?
It doesn't make sense when all you can  onlycomprehend is what's in front of you. 
But God's perspective is greater than our own.

As a worthwhile quote from the movie says:

“There are infinite numbers between 0 and 1. There's .1 and .12 and .112 and an infinite collection of others. Of course, there is a bigger infinite set of numbers between 0 and 2, or between 0 and a million. Some infinities are bigger than other infinities..." (The Fault in Our Stars)

When things don't go the way we expect in our perfectly planned lives, do we blame it on a fault in the universe or do we seek to see farther into the skys? Like someone said in church today, God is not just concerned about our lives, he's concerned about the details in our lives. And sometimes only He can see the complete details.

So when you don't get that job you felt you deserved or you have to deal with a death in the family, seek out the answers, but ultimately remember that it's not the stars that are faulty, but rather us. Eventually we'll get to see that what we thought was a missing piece, was really the most beautifully aligned starry night we could ever comprehend.

Love Always,

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