Last night mighty Jupiter and ringed Saturn came as close to one another as they ever have since the Middle Ages. Where I live in Indianapolis, we were treated to the sight of the paired celestial bodies twinkling over the Eagle Creek Reservoir. Remarkably, the two planets were visible to the naked eye. Even more fascinating was viewing the conjunction through a pair of binoculars. I could readily see how distinctly the planets were aligned with Jupiter outshining Saturn positioned over its shoulder.
From where we stood on our porch, the two spheres may have appeared as pin dots of light in the distant sky, but for me there was a greater significance. As I gazed upward, I felt like a speck, one of many, many specks, on the surface of this planet, which is one of many, many planets in the one of many, many galaxies that exist beyond our capacity to comprehend. While I could see Jupiter and Saturn, I imagined a set of eyes on one of those planets looking down at earth. I would have been invisible.
In the story of our own lives, we are anything but invisible. We carry the leading role in managing the busy-ness of our lives. Our focus is planted anywhere but upward as we juggle the gravitational pull of families, careers, passions, friends, finances and all the many other responsibilities that keep us revolving in our own orbit.
Witnessing the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn asked me to look outside myself. What else have I born witness to? Are my concerns really as important as I think they are?
And here’s where I’ve landed. We can’t diminish the weight of our responsibilities, relationships, emotions and purpose. I believe we contribute to the energy that keeps our planet rotating on its axis. Instead of obsessing over the very things that consume us, stepping back to gain a vantage point of our place on this earth, and its place in our solar system, and in turn our solar system’s place in our galaxy, puts it all into perspective. We’re not invisible. We are a vital part of our planet’s existence.
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