Should We Really Reach for the Stars?

Should We Really Reach for the Stars?Just as it is impossible for us to number the stars, I suggest that it is also impossible to number the times that someone has tried to inspire us by telling us to reach for the stars. I understand what the metaphor means, but over the years, I have come to view it as bad advice. Let me explain.

I have worked with a lot of people who have become disillusioned, frustrated and even bitter because, no matter how hard they have tried, they have never been able to reach that star, or any other star. It’s as though the axiom is as impossible as the reality. There’s a good reason for that. It is impossible.

So, why would someone tell us – or why would we tell someone else – to reach for the stars? My answer is that it is done because of a faulty worldview and of a wisdom that is foolishness to God.

Our Creator did not put the stars in place for us to reach them, regardless of whether we are speaking in terms of metaphor or reality. He put them there for two reasons. First, to testify to His existence and glory (Psalm 19:1) and, second, to be signs for us (Genesis 1:14).

Sailors have understood for millennia how to navigate by looking at the stars and their positions in the night sky. They don’t try to reach the stars. They look to the stars to guide them.

I think that there is a simple, Biblical principle at work here, and I believe that it applies to everything in life. The Bible doesn’t tell us to reach out to God. Rather it bids us to come to Him through His Son, Jesus Christ. That’s because we cannot reach God any other way (John 14:6). Neither does the Bible teach us to seek anything apart from the kingdom of God and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33). When we do that, He sets our goals and He paves the way for us to reach the plateaus and successes He has planned for us.

Rather than reaching for the stars or reaching for God, the Bible instructs us look to Him to guide us. All the instructions we need are in His Word, and all we need to do is to love Him enough to follow those directions, do our best and let Him take care of the rest.

The principle applies in every area of our lives. It works at work. It works at home. It even works on vacation. Despite what network marketers promise if you put a picture of the car or home of your dreams on your refrigerator door, it is far better – and far less stressful – to focus on the tasks that God has appointed you to and let Him provide you with what He already knows you need (Matthew 6:32) and what is, at the same time, the best for you.

We need to be careful before we buy into conventional wisdom, age-old axioms and cutely-coined phrases. What may sound innocent may be so deceptive that it could put people in a position to become dissatisfied with the way their lives have seemed to go, all because they innocently put their all into the fine-sounding, misguided direction we have given them.

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