Like many others, I'm paying homage to today's passing of Neil Armstrong who embodied so many great traditional American qualities. This is from September 8, 2009.
Even though it was a holiday, I still did my running in the pool yesterday morning, predawn. The maintenance man in charge of our pool vacuums it on Mondays-Wednesdays-Fridays and he says it takes an hour for the water to settle after use. Since he comes in at 7 AM, I had to be out by 6:00. If you like solitude in your workouts- and I do- five in the morning is perfect. Monday morning, I was transfixed by a clear Houston sky and the moon above which, if not full, was nearly full. Dad always made us get up for the space flight takeoffs and maybe as a result, I still picture myself walking on the moon when I see its splendor like I did on Labor Day. I've always loved the song Moonshadow by Cat Stevens, which imagined the moon looking over his shoulder as he went through life. We all have songs that lift our spirits; Moonshadow is one heading my list. (You can click at the bottom if you want to hear Stevens sing his classic.)
In the Genesis account of creation, the moon is referred to as the lesser light (in contrast to the greater light, the sun) and is given the authority to govern the night. In Moonshadow, Stevens calls the moon the faithful light. That's not totally Biblical but close. In Psalm 89:37, the psalmist, quoting God, christened the moon as the faithful witness. I really like that concept. That same orb of matter that Neil Armstrong stepped on watched over Abraham, David, Jesus, Cat Stevens...and me! But the moon was not alone in being titled the faithful witness. God, Jesus, and the martyr, Antipas, also bore that title in scripture. Not much is said about Antipas; he's only mentioned once in the Bible, in Revelation 2:14. This is what we know about him: he lived in Pergamum and he died for the Lord. Yet even with only that scant information, we learn that he is called by the same name only attributed to the Father, the Son, and the light that rules the night, no matter where we call home. The timeless beauty of the moon reminds me of the Power that spoke it into being and the promises made to believers. Antipas reminds me that believers can be just as faithful and that amazes me.... and scares me.
Click below to see/hear Cat Stevens perform Moonshadow live:
Applicable quote of the day:
''The moon is a friend for the lonesome to talk to.''
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