We tumble out of the elevator and rush outside, bumping shoulders and laughing. “Guys, I think the building is in the way!” My friends and I jog around the side of our dorm building, peering up at the sky, while trying not to trip on the brick sidewalk. “Wait, let’s try going to the right! I think it’s down that street”, I say before jogging up the three stairs in front of the building and cutting across the front towards the street. We stop at the cross street and continue searching the sky through the spotty cloud cover. By the time we stop and look up the street, the clouds are completely covering the moon. A few low grumbles of disappointment are let out before we walk back into the building, sad to have missed spotting the moon. However, we remain in high spirits from our late-night excursion and chatter bubbles into the air as we walk back to the elevator.
Stepping back a few moments in time, I feel obligated to explain that, like most people I know, my friends and I are obsessed with the moon. Our group chat is filled with blurry cellphone pictures and bids to “go see her!” For us, seeing the moon is like getting to see your favorite artist in concert; all you can do is stop and watch while your chest fills to the bursting with awe and excitement. It’s just so beautiful. So when I received a text that I should go look at the moon ‘just because it’s huge and looks really cool,’ I had to drag my friends outside to look for it.
And they understand. Walking home and suddenly being struck by the beauty of the moon, big and luminescent in the pitch black sky, or peeking out from behind the clouds, or just visible while the sun is still setting, the moon inspires a sense of awe in me. I’ve been caught more than once standing still in the middle of the sidewalk looking up at the dark craters against that white-silver glow.
As much as I love spotting the moon on my own, being told that the moon is out and getting to seek it out is much better. Looking for the moon is like seeking out a sense of wonder: you get to supply some of the joy in your own life. I love looking for the moon and getting the chance to go outside and stop thinking about school or work or any stressors for a second. The moments of searching are moments of peace and a breath of fresh air. And while seeing the moon is amazing because it is just so beautiful, looking for the moon can be its own type of wonderful.
Even though I may not see the moon every time I look for it, the act of looking always brings me new joy. Instead of seeing the moon, I get to step outside and feel the cool night air on my face. I’ll stop on the sidewalk and ponder the great expanse of the night sky, contemplating its stars and beauty. I even get to have conversations with a friend, something that wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t slow down to look up. So while you may not see the moon in all her glory every time you seek her, you will certainly still find awe and joy to bring into your life.
I firmly believe that you have to look for the moon. You have to search for awe. You have to chase after wonder and bring it into your life. Hunting for the moon is just looking for all the peace and joy that comes along with the search. And much like you have to seek out awe, you have to seek out God. As He says in Jeremiah 29:13, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (NIV). If you search for God, you will find Him.
Even though my friends and I did not end up seeing the moon that night, we still found joy and awe – it was just from goofing off outside, instead of getting to stare up at the moon. When we search for the moon, we may not find it, but we tend to attain a sense of joy and wonder from the act of purposeful looking. Just like looking for the moon, we often search for God by looking for the biggest and brightest thing in our lives. But that is not always how He chooses to present Himself to us. When you seek out God, you might not find Him where you expect. That doesn’t mean that you won’t find Him. Wonder and joy enter our lives in unexpected ways, and so does He.
We have to try to bring awe into our lives. We have to try and bring God into our lives. We can’t just wait for good things to come to us, we have to seek them out. When we take the time to seek out awe, to seek out the Lord, we will find them.
I’m looking forward to searching for the moon tonight.
Anne Ruperto is a sophomore in Adams House studying physics