We have an amazing created ability to see things close at hand but also far away. The same is true for hearing, where we can hear loud sounds but also be listening for quieter sounds. Likewise in planning we can plan for the present but still keep the future in mind. The imprint of God upon us permits us to think like no other part of creation. Yet, with all this ability, we easily lose perspective, see amis, miss sounds, and miss what is important.
Observing the skies is the same. If we are totally caught up with one is in front of our nose, we miss the skies. Even for those who observe the skies, they can concentrate on one thing and forget something nearby.
Consider the sketch of the Swan Nebula below. In my lattitude, it is pretty low in the South but the southern skies are often inundated with haze. I have to be aware of weather and changing conditions, or it is easy to miss the Swan’s beauty. I have to be ready to change plans if the seeing is good and the Swan is in view.
This is also true spiritually. One that gets caught up with the present often forgets or loses sight of the eternal. The present day affairs mask the larger importance of spiritual issues. No wonder that God exhorts us to “watch” or be alert. Whether a person reads in Matthew to “keep watch” or in Ephesians to “be careful how you live”, the messages have a similar ring. If we have a God-centered life, we have to hold things somewhat loosely since we do not know when the Lord might appear on the scene. But this means keeping an eye out, being aware OR not being totally engrossed by today’s affairs and cares to the exclusion of important matters of the soul.
So when I observe a beautiful object like the Swan that is relatively low in the sky, it reminds me to stay alert. It is easy to miss observing opportunities when objects do not get very high in the sky. Likewise, it is easy to miss God because present day life can fool us if we hold it too tightly. There are more important matters going on. Be alert. If you need to, take inventory about where your heart is or is not. It would be terrible to miss God. There may not be another chance.