My husband received a birthday balloon last month. This is not an ordinary balloon. For one thing, it is metallic silver and shaped like a star. Another novelty is the helium inside that kept it up on the ceiling, at least for a while. But now this balloon is especially unusual because it has become a “wandering star.” Partly deflated, it moves with the air currents, gliding through the house, searching for a place to rest, but never seeming to find it.
It is an eerie thing to watch this star floating aimlessly around the house, sometimes hiding behind doors or under the leaves of our giant silk palm plant. It looks lonely, giving the impression of unhappiness and discontent.
As we watch this balloon, I think of a Bible verse that uses the term “wandering stars.” It is near the end of the New Testament in the book of Jude. “Wandering stars is used to describe the people who understand the gospel, that “Jesus died for their sins according to the Scriptures, was buried, and rose again the third day, according to the Scriptures,” (2 Corinthians 15:3,4), but have said “no” to that message. They are described as “willful and presumptuous” with meaningless lives. They complain and speak evil against Christ. They are motivated by evil desires and have no spiritual goodness. Worst of all, these “wandering stars” have reserved for them the “blackness of darkness forever.” (Jude 13)
That balloon wandered around our house all last night. It came up the stairs from our son’s bedroom, and who knows where it went before getting hung up on a palm leaf in the living room. That gas-filled star is a vivid picture - not enough substance to keep it down-to-earth, not enough of the right stuff inside to rise to any heights. It just keeps moving, tossed about by outside pressures.
It may seem pointless to personify a balloon. However, Jude makes a real point concerning “wandering stars.” No one wants to have a life without purpose or direction. Jude reminds Christians to “keep ourselves in the love of God, and look for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.” Our purpose is to serve and glorify Him.
What a contrast to our nearly spent balloon.