***OPENING NOTE: This post was meant to be posted on December 13, the peak of Geminid meteor shower. However, as circumstance dictate, it was not posted until now. The circumstance is briefly narrated on the closing note.***
Hello again, dear courteous reader! Well, the ship has been docking for three weeks now and I have taken great pleasure in recharging myself back from a distressing, albeit interesting, voyage abroad. During the voyage I didn’t have the opportunity to sit leisurely underneath the night sky because when I came back to my cabin every evening I was too tired to even think about it. So it’s good to be able to do it again, especially at a time like this.
“What time like this?” you ask. Now you might have read somewhere that in these recent days there is a particularly bright meteor shower by the name of Geminid. This meteor shower was the one I wrote about last year. It was an amazing experience of stargazing, you know, because there were so many of them at that time.
Then you ask again: “What’s so amazing about that? They are mere shooting stars, aren’t they?” Great, now I have the opportunity to tell you one or two things about meteors.
First off, they’re spectacular. Really. One has to see a meteor shower at least once in his/her entire course of a lifetime. Yes, it’s not full of exploding colors, and yes, it doesn’t last for more than seconds, yet you sense yourself being overwhelmed with a bizarre jubilant feeling. It’s like watching a green field from a distance and, after quite a long period of watching, suddenly a white rabbit pops out of it, innocently looks to its left and right, and then—after realizing that there is a human nearby—disappears again into its burrow. Surely you can’t help smiling on that playful, almost comic, scene? It is playful, yet it is splendid in its simplicity. I think in terms of astronomical splendour it can only be surpassed by the Auroras, the Milky Way, and the Nebulae.
But that’s not as significant reason as the second. And because this second reason is significant, I’m afraid I have to bore you a bit, dear courteous reader, by recounting a little story from my yesteryear. Well, there was a time when this humble sailor of yours often climbed to the deck, sat down, and watch the night sky for hours. On one particular evening I was lying flat on my back on the wooden deck when all of a sudden one brilliant shooting star emerged from the constellation Crux.
This meteor flashed splendidly, as if prompting myself to make a wish. So I asked, “May I?” And the reply came swift: “Yes.”
“How many wishes do I get? Two, please,” I begged.
So there you go, the second reason why meteors are not mere shooting stars: they are somehow capable to become a sign, a promise, an accord. You may dismiss that as delusive product of imagination, but at least for me, personally, that is not the case here. I felt the presence of a strong intuitive knowledge in this particular case.
“What are you talking about? Pure nonsense!” I hear you saying, in a prejudicial manner.
You fire back: “Now you call me prejudicial? Goodness be, it’s you who is being prejudicial here. After all, your wishes haven’t been fulfilled, have they? And you don’t even mention what your wishes are.”
Well, I think what my wishes are is not relevant to our present discussion. Whether I had wished for a cat’s longevity or for universal peace, it doesn’t make my case any stronger. So I ignore that comment and move to the fulfillment question, and the answer is: yes, they haven’t been fulfilled yet. However, you cannot laugh victoriously yet; I have another little story in store for you.
On another particular evening—a few weeks after the aforementioned encounter with a brilliant meteor—I climbed up to the deck again. I wasn’t looking for meteors. In fact, I was praying. The prayer was sent in a successive order; I prayed for myself first, and then for my parents, and then for my siblings, and on it goes to less and less familiar objects. I saw no meteor in the sky up until the moment I pray for a friend. This particular friend had been harassed on a social media and I thought it was a subject worth praying for. As the prayer was being uttered, ZAP! I saw a meteor blazing and then came the same strange feeling again that ‘it is not a mere shooting star’. Several days after that, the harassment stopped.
But then again, I don’t always feel that way every time I see a meteor. On one dusk I sat with my friends and suddenly there appeared a bright meteor. It was very bright I thought it was a fireball. However, I did not sense any specialness about this meteor.
You replied: “Okay, maybe those meteors are not mere shooting stars. But still, I am against your view because that’s not the right way to lead a Christian life! In Matthew 12:39 Jesus said, ‘An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign…’ If one is to follow Christ, he/she has to immediately do it without waiting for a sign. By looking for a sign you’re reducing the concept of Faith to bits and pieces!”
Exactly. I know. One friend—after I recounted my story—told me how lucky I was to be given a sign and she envied that. But surely that was not something to be envied! The sign was given, I think, because my faith is immeasurably small. So the fact is, it is me who should envy her, because, however hard she asked, God has not given any sign to her.
Think of it as a measure of one’s spiritual maturity. Had those meteors not been sent, I—who really was a spiritual crybaby—might have chosen the wrong way again. On the other hand, she has not been given any sign because she’s already—spiritually speaking—mature enough to keep walking on the right path whatever the outcome is with her request.
So at this year’s Geminid meteor shower period, I’m glad I haven’t seen any meteor. I have to be honest, though, at first I was a bit upset because those meteors were really splendid. But I meditated again on His reply to the Pharisees, smiled, and said to myself: “Onwards!”
***CLOSING NOTE: I have been thinking of closing this blog because I think it’s pretty useless and because writing this stuff requires me—nay, forces me, to not only write, but also to act it out in my daily life. But my, how hard it is even just to walk! Days after writing those words above, I began to ask for a sign again. Almost an ultimatum, indeed. Yeah, pardon my inconsistency, dear courteous reader, but that was me: this humble sailor of yours are no saints. But praise be to the Captain for His mercy, I was given yet another meteor while I was requesting defiantly. So I put out my cigarette, smiled, and again, said to myself: “Onwards!”***