For weeks now, the States have been buzzing with anticipation of the total solar eclipse that will be seen from coast to coast. Since time immemorial, we have looked at events like this with a range of emotions from dread to elation...and for good reason...it is a pretty neat thing to observe.
I teach astronomy. Eclipses are neat to me more because of the lessons we can learn from them than the few moments of "wow factor". Consider these two thoughts before donning your special glasses and, more importantly, after the event is completely finished:
Eclipse Truth #1: Small things can have a HUGE impact. In astronomical terms, the moon is a joke compared with the size of our Sun. It's practically insignificant if we only compare the mass of the two objects. In fact, we could fit more than 63 million moons in the Sun if it were hollow. However, for a few moments today that small rocky satellite will block out the Sun. Some will notice temperatures dip a few degrees. Most will observe a darkness there that would understandably terrify our ancestors. Big changes all due to a small, ordinary object.
I hope that encourages some of you to continue pressing on, to continue pressing in, and to continue being patient. Just like a total eclipse, big opportunities are rare. I hope you're ready when your chance comes!
Eclipse Truth #2: It's always there, you just can't see it. Some folks will get to see a real treat today. They will notice several heavenly bodies (stars and planets) when the eclipse is in its totality. All of that "stuff" is up there...all the time...you just can't see it because the light of the Sun is to bright. Once the light is turned down a bit, all of those other amazing, wonderful, and awe-inspiring objects become visible.
I want this truth to encourage you to turn down the light in your own life. Specifically, put your phone or tablet away. Get away from your computer for a bit. Turn off the television. Turn off the light and I bet you'll be surprised at all of the amazing, wonderful, and awe-inspiring things happening around you. Parents, lead your kids in this. It's worth the fight.