For Whom Are You Shining?

     Every night before going to bed, I step onto my patio to look at the night skies and breathe in and out deeply in an attempt to rid myself of the day’s stresses and facilitate a good night’s sleep. Sometimes the sky is dark and filled with clouds and on other occasions it is a glorious display of twinkling stars. The star filled nights cause me to pause a bit longer and take in their beauty. I search out the constellations I am familiar with which is made easier by the brightness of their stars.

Last night was one of those nights that a additional layer of stars, though not as bright, were visible. The sky was filled to overabundance.
     Of course, the brightest stars were the first to be noticed.  Your eyes can’t help but be drawn to them.  But that other blanket of stars you have to tarry and search for to appreciate. They are what fill in all the dark gaps. They are what complete the night sky. They are no less important in the scheme of things. They have a purpose.
     A moment of life application struck me during my star gazing last night. In truthfulness, who of us hasn’t at some point in our lives wanted to be one of those brightest stars perhaps composing part of the big dipper which is easily found and recognizable. We want to shine so that we are noticed, appreciated, validated by our peers. However, who should we actually be shining for–ourselves or God?
     God has truly been working on me in this area because I have always had that desire to shine, but it has often been for my benefit and not God’s.  So He has been chiseling away at those worldly aspirations for shining. Though I have dedicated this blog to Him, I must confess how often I check the “stats” area to see how many people are reading as a determining factor of my overall “brightness.” This blog seems to be the Lord’s purpose for me, and instead of finding peace and satisfaction in that, I give the power to a number on my computer screen.
     On my best of days, I hear God remind me that if one, and only one life is ever touched by what He has inspired me to write, then He has allowed me through His grace to shine for Him. That one life is more important than any double digit number that could cross my screen in the “stats” category. Fame and recognition are often distractions to our true, God given mission for His kingdom. Before stepping back into the house, it dawned upon me that the sub-layer of less noticed stars seemed closer to Heaven. (Now don’t go all scientific on me here!) That’s where I want to be. Closer to God, closer to heaven even if I don’t get the most attention. My life is not my own, it belongs to Jesus. As I remind you, I remind myself even more so because Satan works hard to convince me otherwise, especially when I am surrounded by so many of the bright, shiny Big Dipper stars.
     Just remember to shine for God in whatever way he has gifted you.  He is the audience that matters. He is the one who we long to hear say,”Well done my good and faithful servant.” The people you impress on earth will be of no importance at that moment in time. Go and Shine for Jesus! To God Be the Glory!

(Sorry folks, I have not mastered the skill of photographing stars! Working on it!)

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