[Ursa Major and God’s Word]

[Ursa Major and God’s Word]

I have this sort of a personal ritual or tradition or a perk, call it whatever you wish. Whenever the sky is clear at night and I am outside, I have to find the Ursa Major (aka “Big Dipper”) constellation.

When I am not in Kyiv, it is easy. I remember the sky in Heise, Idaho. My friends and I went out camping for a couple of days and one night we went outside, laid on the ground (it was in August and the ground was not cold), and stared at stars. All I could think of was the line from Psalm 19: “The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship.”

In Kyiv it is not so easy. There is too much artificial lightning at night. On one hand, that is good because it’s not safe to be in the dark after the sun goes down. On the other hand, the bounty of artificial lights attempts to take away the feeling of awe before the amazing sky. Most of the people don’t even look up and I get stares every so often when I am walking and looking up at the stars at the same time.

Today, as I got off the bus on my way home from Church, I looked up out of habit and just stood in place, stunned.

You know how the Big Dipper looks like, right?

What I saw (or thought I saw) was different.

It appeared as though the star (Megrez) that unites the “handle” and the actual “dipper,” has moved. Moved diagonally so that the “dipper” part became bigger. I didn’t believe my eyes.

WHAT? The Big Dipper has changed?

Then I walked a few more steps into a darker part of the street and stole another glance. It made me sigh with relief – I saw that the “star” I thought I saw was moving. It was a satellite. And from that darker place of the street I could see the Megrez on its rightful spot.

I grinned and continued my walk.

Sky and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.

Matthew 24:35, the Amplified Bible

The Big Dipper is a constant for me. It has been there long before I was born and I think will continue shining long after I will be gone home. That consistency is the reason why I stood shocked on the sidewalk, thinking that the constellation just couldn’t change like that.

God’s Word (or Jesus’ words) is like that Big Dipper. Long before we were born, they were. “In the beginning was the Word,” says John.

Sometimes we think “Oh, something has changed. We live in a new world, XXI century; everything is different, so perhaps God’s Word has changed as well.”


It is sometimes hard to distinguish between a star and a satellite. They are both tiny and bright, they are both way up high. I made a mistake of thinking that something went seriously wrong with my favorite constellation. However, the satellite moves as the star remains constant. The satellite was manmade and maybe would work for 5 years. The stars have been there for millions of years.

The point today for me is that God’s Word is constant. Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. And that is a good thing because I know that I can rely on Him and He won’t break or stop working or become cosmic trash.

And there are still two commandments that He told us matter. Love God with everything you have and are and love your neighbor as you love yourself.

God’s word shall never pass away.

  • I must admit I have never been much of a science type of guy. I did the more intellectual pursuits like baseball & basketball and now cycling. 🙂 I don't know the stars or constellations to look at them (except the BD & LD) but do appreciate looking into the heavens at night. I can remember one night being in the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, laying on a rock and seeing one of the beautiful & pristine views of the sky I have ever seen before or since. Love your insights. Have a fantastic weekend.

    • I can't say I am that much into science, too. I came to appreciate it, however, because just learning all the facts about the universe we live in is a proof after proof of His existence (makes me wonder how people can still try to prove that He doesn't exist?)…

      Garden of the Gods… hmm… fun name 😀 why was it called that?

    • later addition to my comment: i went over to my friends' place (they are missionaries over here in Ukraine), Josh started showing pictures, "this is when we went hiking in Colorado…"

      i look at the picture, then back to Josh, "is it by chance somewhere close to the Garden of the Gods?"

      "Yeah! It's right there, actually!" he looked impressed that i knew what that was 😀

      so, thanks, Bill 😀 your lesson about the Garden was quite on time, i do declare 😀

  • I am not sure why it was called that. I rode my bike through it with some friends during the day and then he took us out at night. What an awesome thing. No disturbing noise, lights or sounds. I did find this on the name:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garden_of_the_Gods

    I did forget to ask: you were in Idaho? School or visiting?

    • it amazes me how sometimes the names stick… "beer garden" transformed into the "Garden of the Gods"… 😀

      i was there visiting friends of mine with whom i worked when they were over here, in Ukraine. loved it in Idaho! (and no, not because of potatoes :D) it did take me a while to get used to the altitude (i was in Idaho Falls) and lack of oxygen, but i loved every bit of my trip. we went white-water rafting (Snake river, grade 3 or 3.5), spent an entire day in Yellowstone, went to Heise Hot Springs, hmm… seen the first nuclear reactor (EBR-1), watched a sunrise from Hell's Lava Field… we did TONS of stuff.

  • In '93 the family took a trip west. All we had time to do was drive through Idaho. we did stop and eat there though. Drove by Yellowstone. I don't recommend going in July. The trip to Colorado Springs was in '79 and was a belated wedding trip (by about 26 years). Beautiful country out there. In fact, wanted to move to Colorado for many years but couldn't take my wife away from the kids. Now that I have a grandson that it totally out of the question. 🙂

    • hm… i think we went to Yellowstone in beginning of August… i've been in Idaho for two months, came on July 1st (yeah, one of the things that i got to see what the 4th of July parade!), and left on September 9th… between those dates, everything is quite blurry date-wise…

      i don't think i know anyone from Colorado, even though i got friends in almost every state… hmm… i guess i could stay at my friends at Arizona 😀

  • Love the insight! I have always enjoyed star gazing. I live out in the middle of farm country and most any clear night, I can see a multitude of stars. What an awe inspiring sight!

    Those pesky satellites can throw one for a loop occasionally.

    • ahh… my dream – to live somewhere almost in the middle of nowhere. however, the middle of nowhere in Ukraine is not as fun as middle of nowhere in the States 😀

      i love watching satellites… (when i know it's a satellite)… during my brief stay in Idaho, we had a tradition – watch a satellite pass at 11:30PM every night right above us. maybe a silly tradition, but it was fun.

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