A Billion Stars Held Steady

Meditations in Motion

I was reading in our local newspaper about the Perseid meteor shower, which will be visible to us this month as the Earth passes through the tail of the Comet Swift-Tuttle. The peak night for viewing the meteor shower was the night of August 12. Unfortunately, it was cloudy at our house that night, so our view was blocked. We will try again this week if the weather cooperates, but the forecast is for thunderstorms.

My best memory of the Perseids was when we saw them at the beach in North Carolina’s Outer Banks one year. We were there with our kids, my parents, and my mother-in-law. It was an outburst year with more meteors flashing through the dark sky than normal, and there was very little light pollution at our remote location. We all sat on the deck of our rented house and watched the spectacular show. My kids probably stayed for at least five minutes. They watched grudgingly, expressed perfunctory awe, then went back to playing video games.

It was the last vacation I ever took with my father, who passed away shortly after that trip.

Meditations in Motion

I have always been fascinated by the night sky. Some of my favorite running memories are the “Full Moon Runs” we used to do with a group of friends. On the night of the full moon, we would gather our flashlights and headlamps and gather at someone’s house after dark.

For some reason, most of these runs occurred in the wintertime. I can remember our feet crunching on the snow as we ran on lightly-traveled country roads through the rolling farm country of Lancaster County, PA. We would gather back at our host’s house for home-made soup and fresh, hot bread after the run, and warm up by filling our bellies with the delicious offerings.

Meditations in Motion

One time, we traveled to a nearby town to attend a Full Moon Run hosted by a local race director. This race director organizes a very popular half marathon held each year in Amish country, which draws many out-of-towners to the area with hot air balloon races, bike rides, kids runs and many other events associated with the race. His Full Moon Run was by invitation for local folks only and was his way of thanking us for supporting the race.

The run began at a church and was advertised as a six-miler, run at about a 10-minute per mile pace. I had a half marathon coming up in two days in State College, PA, and would not typically run that far so close to a race, but wanted to see what the Full Moon Run was all about.

Meditations in Motion

The run was led by a young Amish couple (yes, there are Amish runners), down farm lanes and gravel roads. I thought the pace was somewhat faster than advertised but said nothing (except maybe a grumble to my hubby). The run was really fun. I got to explore a new route, always a joy for me, and meet new people. We chatted with other runners and laughed as our guide got lost, which resulted in us having to traverse a horse pasture along a fence line in the dark.

I have a fairly good sense of direction and could tell that when as we neared what I estimated to be six miles, we were nowhere close to the church we started from. The run turned out to be a nine-mile run at a nine-minute per mile pace. Two days before a half. It was worth it. We gathered afterward at the church for fellowship, snacks and home-made ice cream, which was delicious.

Meditations in Motion

Full Moon Runs aside, most of my night-sky watching has been done in silence and in awe. One of my favorite quotes on the topic is by Mother Theresa. “God is the friend of silence. We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. See how nature — trees, flowers, grass — grows in silence; see the stars, the moon, and the sun, how they move in silence.”

If I think about how much of my life is “noise and restlessness“, I am somewhat abashed. I am a talker, much to my hubby’s chagrin. If you run with me, there are very few silent moments. When I drive in the car, the radio is on; when I am at home, I check social media. I am restless, in constant motion, ready for adventure, especially if that adventure involves movement.

Meditations in Motion

How much better to be silent and waiting, open to hearing God’s voice in the grass, the trees and the stars like Holy Mother Theresa. God can only make his voice heard if I can quiet the world around me and my own restless spirit.

All of my best writing ideas come to me from silence. I do my best thinking there. Oh, I may find inspiration anywhere, even in the midst of a race or through conversation, but to fully explore that idea, to look in all of its corners and peek under its rugs, to find the full truth of the concept requires silence.

I have begun the practice of sitting quietly and reflecting for 10 minutes each day. It is a Herculean task, harder for me than running a marathon. I have promised myself that I will not fidget; I will not squirm. For 10 minutes each day, I sit quietly and invite God into my heart. Ten loooong minutes.

Meditations in Motion

So far, there have been no big revelations, no magic, but I have had 10 minutes of peace each day. I have learned to be comfortable with silence, at least 10 minutes worth, less than 1% of the time in a day. Maybe if I keep practicing, God will gradually reveal Himself to me, like he did to Elijah on Mount Horeb in that “small, still voice“. Maybe the 10 minutes of tranquility each day is my epiphany. God knows what He is doing; I am in the dark.

Meditations in Motion

I get the feeling that night sky moments may be my best opportunity to find silence. Autumn is coming. Bundling up in a jacket, stepping out on the deck and quietly contemplating the heavens is appealing. Ten minutes. The quote from Donald Miller says it best – “There is something beautiful about a billion stars held steady by a God who knows what He is doing.

 

I am joining  Nicole and Annmarie for Wild Workout Wednesday, Holley Gerth for Coffee for Your Heart, Sharing a Journey for Wellness Wednesday, Debbie at Dare 2 HearRandom-osity for Little Things Thursdays, Eclectic Evelyn for Words on Wednesday, Jessica and Amy at Live Life Well, Running on Happy and Fairytales and Fitness for their Friday 5, Susan B Mead for Dancing With Jesus, Crystal Twaddell for Fresh Market Friday, and Spiritual Sundays for Welcome.

 

 

 

 

 

 

31 comments

  1. I have fallen out of my good routine for silence this summer, but school starts again in a couple of weeks, and I hope to return to the normal rhythms. I can tell that I’m scattered and jangly (even more than usual!) when I’m surrounded by sound and activity all the time.
    Thanks for reminding me that this is a valuable thing to recapture and cherish!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I like the sound of those Full Moon Runs – I rarely run in the dark by myself, but I think I could do it with a group. And being held in winter makes it that much better; I think the snow makes everything more peaceful and quiet.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love this post, Laurie! What an amazing quote from Mother Theresa! Thank you for sharing that! Also, what a touching memory to have of your last vacation spent with your father – that the universe created a fabulous light show of meteors – perhaps in honor of your father! It reminded me of the many times I looked at the stars in the night sky after loosing my parents, and thinking that perhaps they, too, were now up there creating some of that starlight shining down on us! 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lovely post Laurie, so your a jeterbug 😜, I can sit for hrs in silence just listening to the nature around me I’ve had wild animals like dear and turkeys walk up to me look at me then go on their way, I’ve always been a big astronomy fan but you can’t really see much around here for the light pollution and the clouds.
    ❤️✌️

    BY FOR NOW

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Laurie, when I was a kid my family called me “Chatty Cathy” 🙂 Thankfully, the years have caused me to talk a little less. Beautiful post and I love the Mother Teresa quote! May we bask in the silence of our God so He can draw us closer to Him.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha! My friend used to have a Chatty Cathy doll. One of the few I would play with. You pressed a button and recorded a few words, then pressed another button and the doll “said” your words. Blessings to you, Joanne!

      Like

  6. Full moon runs are fun, and so beautiful! A few us gathered on a hot summer night (I think it wad two years ago) and ran a 3-4 mile route around 10:00 p.m. Once in awhile, I’m able to catch to catch the full moon on my 5-at-5 runs, and those are nice as well. During the winter, you almost don’t need a light source because the moon reflects off the snow and the evening sky is so bright!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I would love to do a full moon run.

    What do Amish runners wear to run? I saw in the newspaper a while back where an Amish man ran ( I think the bird in hand half marathon) in his slacks, suspenders and dress shoes. Thanks for linking up with us.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Amish runners wear their regular clothes – not running clothes – to run. I am going to plan another full moon run this fall. They are really fun. Thanks for the opportunity to link up.

      Like

  8. Love this! I have always loved the night sky as well. It is astounding that God made something so beautiful, so peaceful, and so quiet! I also find it hard to quiet my spirit, but know that this is an area where I need to work. And have often had the thought, “If God were to speak to me, there is no way that I could hear Him!”

    Thank you for the reminder that we all need to take moments to be still!

    Thanks for linking up at LiveLifeWell!

    Blessings,

    Amy

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is the one thing that I am working on more than anything else – to quiet my mind in order to hear God’s voice.
      Thank you for the opportunity to link up!

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s