live long and prosper

I like watching things begin. For example, that means that watching Star Trek: The Next Generation (my father's favorite TV show and one of the few series to make it across the Atlantic to South Africa's discriminating broadcast networks) is accompanied by the spoiled ability to watch the latest Star Trek movie and watch things, in a way, begin: Spock, Captain Kirk, Leonard "Bones" McCoy and dear Scotty all begin--are formed, shaped and molded--and I can see how. It's a privilege, and wonderfully exciting to return to the beginnings of things, to see where people come from, to watch progress and change and development, or at least be privy to some of its disclosure. My floor has been doing "life stories" in our floor fellowships over the course of the semester, and this past week we heard from Hannah, whose parents lived in a commune before her father became an Eastern Orthodox priest and they moved to Washington to head up a church. As she passed around pictures of her life and told side-splitting story after side-splitting story, those of us who were blessed enough to listen basked in the warmth of her history, taking in the bigness of her beginnings. I love being given glimpses into personal history, because there is so much depth and richness and meaning there, and while I'll never know every detail about a person, just taking the crumbs people offer is a great honor and show of trust, and I've been blessed with some amazingly trusting souls.
In somewhat of a similar vein, some of us woke up at 3 am on Monday morning (night?) to watch the Leonid meteor showers, and as we lay in a deserted field and tried to impress each other with how many constellations we could name I was once again in awe of beginnings, and the fact that stars exist--that some of the stars I was naming were dying, and that some of them were just being born. Every shooting star was a stroke of God's paintbrush across the eager sky, and I was awed by the bigness of the God who began this universe. He is not so small; after all, He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name. (Psalm 174:4, NIV)