It was one of those nights when the sky was clear in the South but it was so clear that, when I observed the Lagoon Nebula, I was numbed by the color. The object was so striking and contrast so good that I knew I could not capture what I could see in less than several hours. I did not have several hours; I had 30 minutes. I still remember the night, although it was over 2 years ago.
I could see the color because my telescope was fitted with a color astro video camera. The Lagoon Nebula, because it is so bright, has little trouble capturing its brilliance and the array of colors as well as the dark chasm that is near its center and is the reason for its name. But with the object’s brazen color before me, I did not know where to start.
It is intimidating when you find an object on a particular night and it overwhelms you. Sometimes a good night with a good set of equipment permits an observer to see too much. You have to decide: do I go for recording a part of the object or just look at it and not record anything? The solution: be like a child and have no fear. I grabbed a large piece of sketch paper and resolved to capture the general shape and color of the object as fast as I could. I deliberately avoided detail–concentrating on color and overall shape. Here is what happened in a short time:
You see, moving forward by faith in Jesus Christ is like that. You decide something in the heart, you dismiss the nagging fears that something cannot be done, you remember His love and sustaining power, then you step out smartly. It is not “blind” faith in the sense that you cannot see at all and are trusting in something stupid. But the challenge is nevertheless a challenge, and you choose to move forward deliberately by faith in Him–prepared to changed direction if He so moves; prepared to stay the course if He does not redirect; and always listening with the heart. In a sense, you charge the situation though the situation looks too big to deal with, because God is bigger than the situation. And, if you make a mistake, you change direction. But if you do not move at all, nothing will happen.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverence the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes upon Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith…” Hebrews 12:1-2