And So We Worship the Stars

In Deuteronomy 17, God lays out a stiff penalty. If a person turns away from Him to, "worship the stars," or a variety of other false gods, they are to be stoned.

This got me thinking about the ways in which we worship the stars. For instance, our culture has an incredible fascination with celebrity. I can hardly believe the importance people place on Katie Holmes hair, Britney Spears' domestic instability, Will Smith's upper body, or Alex Rodriguez's marriage.

But there are other ways as well. I imagine myself worshiping the stars, and see myself looking in the great nothingness of the dark sky... with hope. Out there, bright points of light could be the seats of the gods, or holes in a black tapestry hinting at glory beyond. I am taken away from everyday frustration and into a world of possibility, where boredom flees and drudgery dies.

When I imagine this heart condition, I see how it carries over to other activities I do even now. I am prone to placing great hope in the starry panorama of technology, where new ideas and solutions can create a happier and more efficient world. I keep close track of new ideas in math and urban design and storytelling and fuel efficiency hoping these things will make life more comfortable and joyful. I allow myself to mentally say, "If this one thing happened, life could be so much better." Rather than merely enjoy new ideas, I place hope for future joy in their hands. In so doing, I worship the stars.

We as Christians must be very careful about the things that fascinate us. While we serve a God not seen, it is all too easy to take comfort in our physical interests. When these interests move from joys to hopes, we risk displacing the power found in God with the amusement found in hobbies.

I still like to look at the stars. And I will continue enjoy using statistics and science to solve problems. But my prayer is that my life, considered as a whole, will display faith in my Creator rather than small-minded fascination with his creation.

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