The Problem with Staring at the Heavens
And while they were gazing into heaven as he went,
behold, two men stood by them in white robes,
and said, Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven?
This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven,
will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.
Acts 1, 10-11
The problem with staring at the heavens is that it makes you stiff- necked. It is well known what God thinks of stiff-necked people (Acts 7, 51).
The problem with staring at the heavens is that you miss the messengers of God standing next to you. It is foolhardy to ignore angels. They are rather touchy in that way.
The problem of staring at the heavens is that it brings you to a standstill. Considering how much the Master loved to say »go«, to take our mats and go, to go and sin more, to go home and to go in peace, you can image that the standstill does not go over all that well with him.
The problem with staring at heavens, is that we will see the back of the Son of God we so loved. He, however, taught us that God prefers that we seek his face (Ps. 27, 8).
The problem with staring at the heavens is that you end up staring after what you miss but is no longer present, while you no longer see what is present, because you are missing in action.
The problem with staring at the heavens is that you are looking at the place for which God is responsible, and all the while ignoring the places for which God has made you responsible. Those places happen to extend to the ends of the earth.
The problem with staring at the heavens is that, at best, you can count the clouds. Our God counts tears, gathers them in his bottle and notes them all in his book (Ps 56, 8). He knows and cares about what is happening on his earth. He would change the direction of our gaze and, like him, have us look clearly, lovingly, longingly at his earth.
God is looking in the opposite direction, from heaven to the earth. That is the problem with staring at the heavens.
Erik Riechers SAC
Fulda, May 26th, 2022