I love looking for Orion, the constellation with three stars for the belt. The Greeks named it after the mythological hunter.
Betelgeuse is the bright star on top, to the east. Rigel is the bright one on the bottom, to the west. And then there's my favorite star of all - Sirius. That's Orion's dog. The belt points right at it to the east. Sirius is the brightest star in the night sky. You can't miss it ... if you know what to look for.
There was a time when I didn't. A long time, in fact. I knew how to find the Big and Little Dippers. I could find the North Star. That was about it. I never saw Orion or his dog until I learned about them with my daughter. We bought simple books on constellations and studied them together. Then we went out and looked up at the night sky. And we saw them. (Well, not all of them. We still don't know how to find most of them.)
Since we first saw Orion, I've never been unable to see it. It's plain as day - in the night sky - now that I know what to look for. It's not abstract and confusing. It's concrete and clear.
Funnily enough, sometimes we just can't see things, even though they're completely visible. That's true not only for things like constellations but also for more profound things, like answers to who we are. And why we're here. What our place in the universe is. Whether there's a spiritual dimension to life or not. Whether we can find escape from a particular misery or injustice or fear we may be saddled with.
For me, these universal questions all relate to what the Bible calls the "deep things of God." Especially when God is defined as Life itself, with a capital L.
When we look into the deep things of God - the deep things of Life and Spirit - we begin to see surprising things about our true nature. It is spiritual and unbroken. Our relationship to God is to a creator who dearly loves us. These things are not visible to the eyes, or to the other material senses. They're visible to the heart, to our spiritual sense.
I saw Orion when I truly understood something of the relationship of the stars to one other. Seeking to understand my relationship to my creator and my fellow men and women just as surely, it's not unusual for me to talk to myself something like this:
"Don't you understand? It's right there in front of you - plain as day in the night sky. You are God's creation. God made you! God is Life itself, the divine Spirit.
"Remember what the book of Job in the Bible says: 'The spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life'? That's who you are, pal. And who everybody else is, too. The child of God. The very expression of immortal Life itself. And that means that you're beautiful, intelligent, pure, sin-free, pain-free, noble, honest, boundlessly creative and imaginative, capable and confident, safe, responsive, whole, redeemed, full of grace, unafraid, worthy. You are God's image. And so is everybody else. Look. Just look. Look for the pure goodness and spiritual beauty within you, within everyone. You can see it."
(Go ahead and try talking to yourself this way!)
The woman who started this newspaper in 1908, Mary Baker Eddy, sums it up well, I think: "As mortals gain more correct views of God and man, multitudinous objects of creation, which before were invisible, will become visible." This is on page 264 of the book "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," which is full of insights like this one.
You can check out more about constellations at lots of Web sites. And you can check out more about your relationship to God at the site deep in your spiritual consciousness. Because you do know what to look for. (If you want some help and encouragement, visit www.tfccs.com).
When I consider thy heavens,
the work of thy fingers, the moon
and the stars, which thou hast
ordained; what is man, that thou
art mindful of him? and the son
of man, that thou visitest him?...
for thou hast crowned him
with glory and honour.
(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society