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Be Astonished

Instructions for living a life:

Pay attention.

Be astonished.

Tell about it.

-Mary Oliver-

This is a quote from one of Mary Oliver’s poems that I have as part of my email signature. Someone asked me what I was astonished by yesterday and unfortunately; the first thing that came to mind was a negative experience. On my way down to Wilmington from Philadelphia, a guy (an assumption because the windows were tinted) in a pick-up truck drove alongside of me most of the way on I-95. He would zoom around to the right to get around a car in the middle lane and then get back in the middle lane to be alongside of me. He could have gone in front of me, but he kept staying next to me. It felt like he was trying to intimidate me – not something easily done, but I must say it did occur to me that I could be a victim of road rage at any minute, and unprovoked road rage at that.

The point of Oliver’s quote is to be astonished by things that make for life and to share them -- to seek to see the world with the eyes of God and help others do the same. So, I felt like I let the pick-up driver intrude in my life twice: once on the road and again when I recounted the episode as something worthy of astonishment.

I think Scripture would lead us to expect the inane, the inhumane and the unjust and to be surprised by the gracious, kind, and just. So, I’m recommitted to being astonished by God and of course, part of my calling as pastor is to help others do the same.

In that light, I invite you to stay up past midnight (if you can, drive away from the city) and look up at the night sky. Tonight is supposed to be the best night for witnessing the Perseid meteor shower and this year the best conditions because the moon will be dark allowing the brightness of the meteors to be seen.

Just imagine, these lights shooting across the sky are pieces of the Comet Swift-Tuttle that takes 133 years to make one trip around the sun. It was last seen in the night sky in 1992 so we will all be dead by the time it comes around again in 2126. But in the meantime, every time the earth passes through the “rivers of dust” that the comet has shed, we are treated to a light show.

Now that is something to be astonished about AND something to tell about.

Blog us back and let us know if you stayed up and what you were graced and astonished to see.

--Pastor Dianne

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