Always Reach for the Stars, You’ll be Quite Happy

To many, there are thought to be an infinite amount of stars in our universe. Well at least more than you or I could ever count. However, of the infinite stars, a handful scattered throughout the skies over Lake Champion, NY changed the way I looked at life.

I was away at a fall retreat for YoungLife with other high school students from around the area I lived in, just hoping to grow closer to each other and God. As the weekend progressed, we all shared stories, sang together, played way too much ping pong, and ate till our stomachs were full. Although we were growing closer to one another, I felt as if there was a greater reason for my attendance.

On the last night of the retreat we all gathered in the “club” room for our daily session of singing, dancing, and listening. The keynote speaker for the weekend was a pastor from a town not too far from my own, a nice older man who was trying to get us to become closer to God. Now as a Catholic I grew up listening to men and women preach just like this man, so the religion aspect of his talks weren’t really impacting me at all. I honestly just wanted to have a good time with some good friends, until he gave us a challenge.

In the middle of his talk he said, “I want you all to go outside now for 20 minutes and just be by yourself and reflect”. Being in upstate New York I was initially furious because upstate winters were never of a tropical variety, but I reluctantly grabbed my blanket and went outside. I then found a rock ledge to lie on and I took a nice nap. Well, attempted to take a nap because about 5 minutes in I was freezing and couldn’t help but stay awake.

At my waking moment, the first thing my eyes opened to was a dark sky with little specks sprinkled throughout. I quickly grew a brain and noticed that those “specks” were individual stars. Breathtaking is the largest understatement for the sight my eyes had layed upon. I still vividly remember seeing the Little Dipper and the North Star, the same one seen by those 50,000 years ago. For the first time in my life, I was speechless.

The immense beauty I witnessed gave me a sense of just how amazing life really is. Although we don’t always have time to stop and look at the sheer beauty life provides us, the slightest glimpse of it can carry the most immense power known to man. Immediately after I regained my breath, the largest smile appeared on my face and I was in a state of awe. To me, being on a planet revolving around one of the in-numerous stars was such an honor.

Life isn’t about fighting, earning money, being zealous, or trying to one-up your fellow man. Life is about happiness, natural and genuine beauty, relationships, and moments of joy like the one I experienced that day. Sure, life can knock us down a lot, but I am now a firm believer that happiness and positivity can be the panacea.

So the next time you have the chance to take a second to enjoy life, enjoy it to the fullest because when you do, good things will follow.

Much Love — Alex