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Topic: light (05/24/04)
TITLE: Not Quite Switched On
By Melanie Kerr
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It was a clear night and, right enough, there were lights in the sky. Conditions were just perfect for a spectacular view of the northern lights. Red, blue and green shafts of light shimmered and shifted in the night sky. People with telescopes, and people without, found themselves a patch of uninterrupted sky, away from the interference of street-lights, and gazed upwards saying, “Wow!”
Churches sometimes miss the more natural demonstrations of God’s glory. By the time our evening meeting finished, clouds had slunk in from all points of the compass to obscure the light show in the heavens.
The science of how it happens is beyond me. It is something to do with magnetic fields and solar winds, invisible to the naked eye, doing stuff. The last time they did stuff had been fourteen years earlier. When someone had invited to me to see the northern lights I thought they were talking about a local band of fiddlers and bagpipe players and politely declined.
Northern lights can turn up for a few nights. The following night I headed out, along a single-track road, into the middle of nowhere. In the dark, with the car headlights splashing out a pool of light in front of me, I navigated through a herd of deer, tails bobbing as they hopped in and out of my path.
Parking in passing place, I switched off the lights and fixed my gaze upwards. I was unsure exactly what it was I was looking for, but felt positive I would know when I saw it.
It was a cold night with hint of frost. The sky was teeming with stars. Waiting for the northern lights to be switched on, I entertained myself by trying to identify the few constellations I knew.
The stars shone brightly that night, but the magnetic field and the solar wind did not do their stuff. After three patient hours of waiting, the only colour to be seen was the shade of blue my fingers turned. I had missed it. The Internet site I looked up later informed me that the next show was in fourteen years time.
There is nothing worse than missing it. Five bridesmaids missed a wedding for the want of a jar of oil. Sometimes we have opportunities to move in the Spirit in supernatural ways. We have a chance to witness to a friend, or to pray for a stranger, to reach out and lead a lost person home. We say that we will do it tomorrow. The moment for moving in the miraculous has gone.
Thank God for the second, third, and fourth chances we are given, but wouldn’t it be nice to get it right first time?