So I was standing outside last night. It was a warm, beautiful clear night. In December. True winter is suppose to be here and it is almost Christmas. But as I stood here, I looked up at the stars as I often do. My gaze searched for it and found Orion. It is the only constellation I recognize. I have been looking at it since I was a child. Those three stars that make up his belt. I always search for it.
As I looked at it I thought about my life. All the times I have sat and stared up at Orion. The times I sat on my mom’s front porch looking up on it and wishing on every star on his belt that the person I was in love with would come back from the service. Talking on the phone with my best friend who was 400 hundred miles away as we both looked up at Orion. It made us feel closer knowing we were both looking at the same stars. We would even send each other messages from time to time that simply said “I was looking at Orion last night”.
There were times when I would look up at it and wonder where life would take me, what I would end up doing with my life. I’ve looked up at that constellation with happiness, with hope, and with tears of pain. It has been a constant in my life. It has become almost a habit when I look up to seek out that familiar cluster of stars.
Thinking about it, I look over my life at all the changes, the happy times, the sad times, the difficult times, and times when I felt everything was going right. And just like Orion, I realized that no matter how much changes in my life, I am still me. I am still the same person who looked up all those years ago. I may have grown, changed, gotten wiser, gotten more wrinkles, put on some weight, moved from place to place. But looking up at those stars, I realized that I am happy with who I am as a person. I have stayed true to who i wanted to be. I am a generous, loving person. I don’t steal, lie, do drugs, or hurt others intentionally. I’ve worked hard to get where I am. It may not be exactly where I thought I would be and it surely isn’t where I plan on staying. But just like Orion, I am still here. I am still trying and for that – I am grateful.
So the next time you’re out on a clear night, take a glance up. Look for Orion in the stars. And take a minute to think about your journey. Where you came from, where you’re going. And be grateful for the journey.