Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Star Gazing

I have been reading Stephen Cottrell's book "Walking Backwards to Christmas" in which he explores the Christmas story from the perspective of some of the more peripheral characters.  He is looking for new angles, new messages.  The fourth chapter focuses on Casper, the traditional name of one of the (again traditionally) three wise men or kings who went in search of the infant Jesus with their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

Casper describes himself as a stargazer.  Adopting Casper's identity, Stephen Cottrell writes: "Most people learn to look down.  Not me.  I would not let my horizon shift.  So there are obstacles in the path?  Let them trip me up.  Better to keep looking upwards, to chase after dreams and stumble, than only ever see the few steps in front of you and spend a lifetime going round in circles, getting nowhere fast.  That is me: a dream-chaser, a stargazer, a misfit and a seer, a student of the cosmos and the galaxies."

These ideas about looking up, about chasing the dream offer an incredibly helpful perspective.  It is true that we too easily get dragged down and that we lose our sense of direction.  The wise men of old were entirely convinced that God had them on a journey that was worth completing.  They were very much chasing the dream.  We need to have more faith about what God has in store for us - and that will happen if we look up and to God.  That's the journey we need to be on.

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