Wednesday evening faith formation at St. Thomas Apostle begins with dinner followed by a communal prayer service. The gathering song for the prayer last nigth was I Want to Walk as a Child of the Light.
The second and third sentences of the song go, “God set the starts to give light to the world. The star of my life is Jesus.”
Given the context, the intended meaning of “The star of my life is Jesus,” is that Jesus guides my way. That Jesus lights the way for us: walking as a child of light is walking in the light of Jesus. That is all true enough and important enough.
But as I heard the line sung last nigth, “Jesus is the star of my life,” I heard it as “star” in the sense of leading role. The star of my life is Jesus. As I heard those word sung, I was almost startled by the realization that I am not the star of my own life. In my own life, I’m only the supporting actress – the starring role is held by Jesus. (I can see the headlines: “The Life of Susan, starring Jesus.”)
The star of my life is Jesus. That is, at one and the same time, an awesome and humbling thought.
Of course, the temptation for supporting actors and actresses is to try to steal center stage, to try to make themselves the star. And so it is with us – that we sometimes (often?) forget that the star of our lives is Jesus. When we push him out of the way to make ourselves the star, well – the story just doesn’t play as well as it should.