Oh, shoot! It’s Over! (#31days)

Tonight, I returned to That Place I like to Watch the Sun Set. It was beautiful. As the sun disappeared behind the hills on the other side of the river, the majestic colors bounced off the clouds.

And then… it was over.

The sun was gone. The last of the fading sunbeams glanced off the clouds, ending the day with a delicate kiss. I stood in awe as the orange faded to pink and then toward blackness.

But October 9th had one surprise left.

Thirty minutes after the sun disappeared, even more beams of light exploded over the horizon. An eternity after the beauty had faded, one last burst appeared. It was as if Thursday was telegraphing a reminder. Never give up. Even after the light has faded. Light can be persistent. Even after we think it’s too late. The light breaks through.

Oh, shoot! I need a sign! (#31days)

IMG_9486I’ve been a seeker all my life. When the thought of God would cross my mind when I was younger, I’d frequently think: “God, if you are really there, show me a sign. If you show me a sign, I’ll believe.”

For years I didn’t see a single one. From the mountains of Colorado while hiking the continental divide to glaciers cleaving in Glacier Bay National park, God was silent. Eventually, I stopped asking.

The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. (‭Psalm‬ ‭19‬:‭1‬ ESV)

Now I look at the sky and wonder how I missed it for so long. Creation is simply too exquisite, complex, and magnificent to be an accident. There are too many subtle touches, too many fascinating oddities. So much fragile beauty.IMG_9485

Now I look at a breathtaking sunrise and wonder “what does it say about the Creator that He shows us this?”

When I see sights like these pictured here, it reminds me of the nature of God. He is good. He is a source of hope and wonder. He is more grand, majestic, creative, and powerful than I can comprehend. And yet He loves us enough to keep sending us signs.

What signs have you seen?

Oh, Shoot! Gazing west at sunrise. (#31Days)

Today is day two of the October writing challenge. I had a plan. I thought I had the early days of this challenge licked. The sun comes up every morning, right? That means I can kick off the beginning of the challenge with an easy sunrise pic and a few words of inspiration. I’d get an easy win under my belt and be good to go.

Boom!

I woke up this morning to the sound of thunder. I’ve lived in Oklahoma a long time. I really love a good, ground-shaking thunderstorm. Catching a good sunrise during a thunderstorm in impossible, though. In fact, it’s hard to catch much of anything.

The storm was on its way out of town when I rolled in to work. Although there was a faint fiery glow along the horizon, it was impossible to catch without a lot more time and equipment than I have.

But the clouds broke. Although it didn’t reveal the incredible oranges, reds, yellows, and blues we often see on autumn mornings in Oklahoma, I still couldn’t help but pause. Nature’s deep greys and purple contrasted with the dirty, faded white concrete of the old Union Station. Beauty was there. Even without the gorgeous sunrise, there was hope and inspiration to be found as the storm left us behind.

Stormy Sky

 

So what’s the lesson for today? Is it that you don’t always find beauty in the way you expect to? Maybe. Is it that life can still be breathtaking in the midst of darkness and storms? Possibly. But there’s more.

I turned around.

Away from the sunrise.

I found a few of the colors I had been longing for. The sun was casting its light over the clouds and reflecting back from the other side. I was gazing west at sunrise. It was incredible

The light behind me

 

So maybe if you find yourself stuck, seeking light or beauty or the comfort of something familiar… Maybe it’s not so far away, but in a different presentation than you expected. Maybe hope is breaking through a simple crack between the clouds. Or maybe you just need to turn around.

Where have you found hope and light today?