Welcome to the 2016-17 MOPS International Theme – We Are the Starry Eyed
Sometimes we think we have to pick one, when in reality it is always both. Light and dark, hope and fear, kindness and risk, wonder and mundane.
This is evidenced by the fact that we are people who are meant to live by both sunlight and moonlight. Our natural rhythms revolve around the circling of sun and moon. Yet often our tendency is to cling to one, the one that is more comfortable, forgetting that our fullest living comes when we embrace the swirly mix.
Starry Eyed means looking for the light even when darkness is enveloping. It is an opportunity to hope recklessly and to witness God’s presence guiding things seen and unseen, comfortable and uncomfortable.
When we reflect back over our lives, this year is going to stand out. It will be the year that we decided to live fully by both sunlight and moonlight. Because audacity is rising in the deepest and wildest parts of our souls. And the best part is, we will experience it all together.
So the question becomes, When was the last time you felt fully alive? The last time you were so swept up with wonder that it took your breath away? That kindness made you feel powerful? Or audacious hope unraveled fear? This is the year to experience all of it.
Because We Are the Starry Eyed. And Starry Eyed means…
Thus says the Lord who made the earth, the Lord who formed it to establish it… Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know. – Jeremiah 33:2-3
Life has a way of draining the wonder out of us. We get betrayed, lose something or someone, opportunities don’t pan out, we miss a year’s worth of sleep, and slowly a layer of hardness develops. We become just a little bit more cynical and a little more worn out, completely forgetting how to be astonished. Wonder is wide-eyed. It is primal and unexpected. Wonder washes away any trace of stagnancy or hesitancy, any desire to numb the day away. It is a nod to the fact that life is wilder, weirder and more profound than we are comfortable with, and that is thrilling. So, this year we will search out wonder like our lives depend on it. Because they do. We will stand under a sky full of stars and become overcome by the vastness of the universe, we will stay up too late laughing with friends, a sunrise will take our breath away, and we will go out of our way to be moved. Wonder will bring us home to ourselves.
We choose wonder. Because We Are the Starry Eyed.
Even the darkness is not dark to You, and the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to You. – Psalm 139:12
We live on the edge of a dirt sphere hurling through the universe at 67,000 mph and we can’t help but question how we got here and what it all means. Sometimes it is a heartbreaking mess, isn’t it? But then there are those moments when it’s something else, something good, something that matters, something more. We’re made of bone, water and dust which remind us of our connectedness to the universe; but we are also made of Spirit, an intangible spark that is bursting with questions while simultaneously insisting that there’s a point to all this breathing and being. This is hope: the belief that it all matters. Hope is mysterious and surprising, obstinate and reckless. It is convinced that light is ahead of us and the path will unfold as we take our next step. Hope is the awareness that there is always more to the story and that every sunset brings an opportunity to marvel at a sunrise.
We choose hope. Because We Are the Starry Eyed.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day. – Genesis 1:1-5 (NASB)
We can’t sit by and idly suggest that something is not right but do nothing to offer solutions. We are responsible for one another. The pain of the world echoes in our depths, telling us that something must be done, but what? When the task of changing the world feels overwhelming, perhaps all we need to do is make a ripple. One small ripple can cause wars to cease, hope to be restored and gaping heart-wounds to heal. This year we invoke a movement of kindness. Letters will litter the globe, tucked between slats of wood at the playground, left on a subway seat, slipped under the tattered mat of a shanty in Guatemala. The words we breathe over strangers in the form of handwriting and paper will birth ripples of kindness throughout the world. Because we are not powerless. We choose to live fully in all gradations of illumination. The stars beckon us toward dawn even when the night is dark. We do the same. We are no longer spectators wishing for change, we are participants bringing warmth and light.
We choose kindness. Because We Are the Starry Eyed.
Starry Eyed is…
Seeing the light in the darkness and choosing to live courageously in both. It is opening our eyes to wonder and choosing hope over fear. Starry Eyed is significant acts of kindness that send ripples of light into the world. It is a choice to live fully and wholly and to breathe our way back to life. If you feel anxious and don’t know why … If you are busy and distracted from the things you truly care about … If you are restless for an unexpected encounter with God … If you long to feel alive, to regain a sense of wonder, to hope a little freer and to be a powerful force of kindness in the world, then we’d love for you to join us in becoming Starry Eyed.
This year we will run wildly toward wonder, hope and kindness because We Are the Starry Eyed and we choose to see the light.