By: Staci Stallings
Our world today is obsessed with stars–celebrities who make a lot of money, gain a lot of fame, or otherwise dominate the chitter-chatter of masses. Many of us wish, even if fleetingly, that we could be a star, but most will never attain that “level” of “success.”
I found, however, a different and probably more important way to be a star this weekend. So if you’re interested or have ever thought it would be nice to be a star, here’s your chance!
Not sure where this thought came from other than “up there,” but I was thinking about how a year or so ago, my sister compared me to the Magi. I believe I wrote about that at the time–how she said I was a Magi because I was always looking for signs that would point me to God. I thought that was really cool at the time. This weekend, I had cause while thinking about that, to look just a little higher into the story.
I happened to be at my hometown church, which is always good for a few hundred incredible insights into life, and at my hometown, they have this HUGE creche inside the church. The trees are as tall as live trees, decked out in white lights with this star above it. Of course, Mary and Joseph have the Baby Jesus lying in a manger underneath. This year I had cause to think about that star. The one so long ago. The one that was there, shining in the night, guiding the Wisemen to the place where Jesus was.
You may have heard the saying, “Wisemen still search for Him.” Wise men still look for stars, just as I was those years ago when my sister dubbed me a Magi. But what about that star? Maybe it had a story too.
Now, I know, stars don’t have feelings and thoughts. They are put in the sky for a time by God, and for their time, they shine, then they burn out and disappear. (A bit like us, don’t you think?) But consider what if… what if… that little star so long ago DID have feelings and thoughts. What would they have been, since that little star was SO far away from the action and burned for much longer than most of us celebrate Christmas (at least a year by most accounts)?
It might have gone something like this, “This is pointless. I mean, when I first got here, it was fun, dancing around and everything. But now, all I do is shine and shine and shine in the middle of all of this darkness, and what has it gotten me? Burned fingertips that’s all. I’m not even making a difference. Look at all this darkness. It’s still here. I look out there, and there are other stars. Sure most aren’t as bright as me, but they aren’t doing much good either. I mean, look at ALL of this darkness. We can never hope to overcome it. What’s the point? Maybe I should just tell God I’m a failure and go home. I mean, how long can He expect me to keep this shining thing up? I’ve been out here night after night after night, and nothing. Sure, I heard the choirs of angels singing a couple times at first, but they haven’t done that in months. Now I’m just out here, all alone, shining for no one to even see. In fact, I bet those people down there on the earth don’t even know I’m here anymore…”
That’s the way we get, isn’t it?
Discouraged. Tired. Thinking whatever we’re doing is so meaningless as to be pointless.
We don’t often see and understand the real difference we are making… or could be making in the lives of others.
We don’t see those three Kings looking at our light and following our light to the Presence of Jesus in the world. So sometimes we’re tempted to give up, to go home, to tell God it’s too hard. But maybe we should take a few lessons from that little star about how to be a real star in this world.
First, the star recognized the Presence of Jesus, and the Presence of Jesus lit up the star’s life. Do we recognize the Presence of Jesus in our lives, or do we slog through the day with our head down and our bodies on auto-pilot, trying to just get to the end of the day or the end of the week? There is a better way. FIND the Presence of Jesus all around you and inside of you. Be a Magi. Look for it. The star found it and wanted to tell the world.
Second, let His light shine through you. That little star had the first burst of excitement, but after that, it needed God’s power to stay lit. Let God’s power light your life as well.
Next, remember that you never know who your light is leading. I guarantee you, no matter who you are or where you are, someone is paying attention to your light and your life. They are watching how you live and taking their cue from that. It may be someone you don’t even know. When people walk into your office, do you smile and greet them happily? Or do you grumble and wish they would go away and let you get some work done? There are wisemen and women out there, looking for someone to point them the right direction. Is that person you?
Are you a star?
You can be, but you have to recognize the possibility and then act on it. And when you get discouraged, always remember, just like that little star, God put you here for a reason. You may not know what that reason is, but I challenge you to shine as best you can and let God work out the details you can’t even see. The star did, and because of that, we still sing about that little star today. To me, that’s worth remembering!
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