Read Psalm 8:1-9

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have established; what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them?—Psalm 8:3-4 (NRSV)

It was too hot to sleep in my bedroom. After trying to find a comfortable position and sweating all the while, I went outside and laid a blanket on the small deck. I made myself comfortable and watched the stars. Before I moved to this rural area in Tennessee, where there is little light pollution and dark means dark, I went for weeks—even months—without looking up. I seldom saw the magnificence of the night sky. Where was my attention if not turned to the natural glory around me?

Looking at the stars, I find that it doesn’t take long for me to turn inward. As I look, I have two thoughts at once: Given the vastness of all that is, how is it that I exist? And, given that I am in the midst of this great vastness, how can my response be anything other than gratitude?

I pray that I remain in the middle of those two thoughts, humble and grateful at the same time.

Prayer: Lord of the universe, keep my attention turned upward so that I may find my place in this wondrous world you have created. Amen.

Thought for the day: I am wonderfully made in the image of God.

—Doug Hagler, Tennessee