Webster defines “epiphany” as an illuminating discovery, realization, or disclosure. You know, “I was driving to work and had an epiphany that I need to take next week off.”
In Christianity, today is the Feast of the Epiphany, which celebrates the visit of the Magi, or the Three Kings, to the infant Jesus. It is customary to have you home blessed today and in some cultures, to jump into freezing cold water. (Does my New Year’s Day Polar Bear Plunge count?!) It also traditionally ends the Christmas season.
The Three Kings followed a star to find the Christ child and in his homily yesterday, Pope Francis asked “what star have we chosen to follow in our lives?”
Tough one, right?
The world tells us to follow the money and strive for success and power. I don’t necessarily strive for power but I do want to be considered successful in whatever I do. Sadly, I also often follow the wrong “stars” and as Pope Francis reminded us, “Some stars may be bright, but do not point the way.”
Think about it, the Three Kings were just that, kings, but they knew there was a king of all kings born and they actually brought Him gifts. I’ve always used this idea, that Jesus got three gifts, as reason why Kristen to this day only gets three gifts each Christmas. But for the rest of the year, what gifts am I striving for and what gifts am I giving to others? What stars am I following?
Thank you Einstein. Well said. As I recently blogged, we are a restless bunch and calm is often what we strive for, but how do we get there? I’m no math person, but I agree that when things aren’t adding up in your life, start subtracting. Start following the right stars.
First of all, eliminate junk from your life and things that tear you down rather than build you up. You know what and who they are. If you’re not sure, what do you think about most? That, my friends, is your treasure, your heart, and the star you are following. If it’s junk and if it tears you down, peace out. Get rid of it. Remind yourself that some people are so poor, all they have is money.
You may also want to ask yourself:
“What will I be remembered for?”
“Whom do I envy?”
“What do I lie about?”
“What will I do today that will make me proud in a year?”
The answers may be hard to admit or address, but they reveal what stars you follow and what presents you give.
The Pope went on to instruct us not to thirst for arrogance and riches, but instead hunger for humility and helping the poor. As you do so, you just might become the star in someone else’s life and will discover the epiphany of following the right star. Lead the way. Shine bright.