Shine Like Stars

Ten years ago, I was living in Colorado. I still think about that season of my life almost every day – the lessons, the memories, the people. Those months changed me. There are so many stories I could share, but I was thinking about one in particular this week.

One weekend, my friends and I went camping in the Rockies. We drove for what seemed like hours into the Rockies before finally arriving at our campsite. We unloaded our gear and laughed as we fumbled with our tents, trying to assemble them in the dark. We sang songs and told stories and talked about what God had done over our last few months together. After eating our campfire-cooked meal, we pulled out our sleeping bags and situated ourselves on the cold, hard ground. As my head eased onto my pillow, I looked up at the night sky. What I saw took my breath away.

Out of the dark sky burst a million stars. Without the ambient light of the city, they seemed to shine magnificently bright.

“Do everything,” wrote Paul to the Philippians, “without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, ‘children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.’ Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky, as you hold firmly to the word of life.”

All of my life I’ve wanted to fit in, to be a part of the crowd, to be, well, normal.

Looking at the stars as I lay on the side of a mountain I understood, maybe for the first time, that I’m not supposed to fit in.

I’m supposed to be different – not for the sake of being different, but for the cause of Christ. I’m supposed to live my life in such a way that, against the dark backdrop of a warped and crooked world, I shine the radiant light of Jesus.

If you’re a Christian, this is your calling, too. We, as a community, are to burst through the darkness as a million stars. We are to be different.

So, how will we be purposefully different today?