Last month I had two experiences of fireworks: first for Canada’s birthday, then at a friend’s wedding. Both times, the light display was spectacular. Fireworks are fun. They delight young and old. We hear the bang, lights flash in the black sky, and we “ooh” and “aahh.” I think it’s the surprise and the danger under control that fascinate us, as much as the beauty and the sound. In twenty minutes, sometimes a half hour, the show is over. We walk away, the excitement and beauty lingering in our minds and our conversation.
There are amazing light displays available to us most every night. On clear black nights when the silvery sliver of new moon shines, the sky is filled with stars. I’ve watched the blinking of Pleiades, the constellation that seems to be there, but when we look too hard, it disappears. The Milky Way’s millions of stars, light years away, make a path across the heavens. When the moon is full, the stars fade as the night sky becomes almost as light as the day. And there are more. Occasionally, we can thrill to the delicate dance of the northern lights and the excitement and fear that comes when thunder and lightning fills the sky.
When we’ve had enough excitement, we can soak in the peace of a magnificent sunset. Pinks, reds, mauves, spread across the horizon, sometimes feathering out to fill the entire sky. Like fireworks, sunset’s spectacular light show lasts only for minutes before it begins to fade.
On a much smaller scale, mystery comes to a dark night with the magic and surprise of flashing fireflies. They float around me and weave through the trees and long grasses. I can watch for hours, or at least, for as long as I can endure the mosquitoes.
God’s light shows are endless and free, and better than anything produced by Steven Spielberg. All they require is that we open our eyes to see them. Use your mid-August nights to watch for the meteor showers that cascade through the black sky every year. Every night, when you return home, look up as you step out of your car, or better yet, go for a walk. If you like fireworks, you’ll love God’s beautiful world.
“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of God’s hand. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge.” (Psalm 19:1-2)