Monday, October 04, 2010

Lessons from a sunset, or lack thereof...

One of my favorite things (I have a lot of favorite things) is to watch the sunset.  I love the bright colors, the uniqueness of each sunset.  I especially enjoy watching sunsets over water, since I have almost always loved water.  Fortunately for me, Lake Macatawa is only about 8 blocks west of me and there is a nice bench there for watching the sunset.  Watching the sunset at Lake Macatawa also means I get to go for a walk, which is another one of my favorite things. 
Here's one of the pictures I took at Lake Macatawa shortly after arriving here in Holland:
August 31, 2010
Saturday night I was sitting at my desk doing homework (and facebooking a friend) when I glanced out my window, which faces north-west-ish (more north, so maybe north-northwest, if you want to be all technical...I left my compass at home, so I'm guessing based on the sun), and saw the colors playing on the clouds.  My heart got excited and postponed what I was doing and grabbed my camera, water bottle, iPod and gloves (it was chilly out) and headed for the lake.  I snapped a picture of the clouds as I left my apartment:
My past experiences with sunsets had taught me that some cloud cover enhances the beauty of the sunset so I was super excited. When I made it to the lake however, I was initially disappointed.  Either I was too late or the cloud cover was just too much.  There was no spectacular sunset. This is what I saw when I got there:
October 2, 2010
Since I was already at the lake, I decided to sit and listen to my music and watch the clouds for a time. I really didn't want to be doing my homework anyways.  And maybe, just maybe, the clouds would break and I'd get my spectacular sunset.  The clouds never did break.  Off to the side though there was some color.  See?
Mostly though I just watched the clouds and listened to my music. At one point I was talking to G-d and complaining a bit about the lack of a spectacular sunset after I'd walked all the way to the lake to see it. I talked to Him about some other things too...asked some tough questions  And then I just sat and listened and played with my camera.  As I listened I heard (in my's hard to explain how one hear's G-d, but you know when you hear Him) Him speak to me.  I'll try and reproduce our conversation (at least the parts I'm willing to share) in English the best I can. (G is G-d, M is me :) )
G: Is the sun setting?
M: of course the sun is setting...the sun sets every night
G: but you can't see the sun setting.  All you see is the clouds and darkness.
M: but G-d, some things never change. The sun sets every night whether I can see it or not, whether I'm paying attention to it or not.
G: Exactly.  

I sat there with that for awhile.  Some things never change. Whether I can see them or not, whether I'm paying attention or not, some things never change.  G-d never changes.  The eternal truth that He is always in control, never changes.  The truth that light comes after the darkness never changes.
As I sat with it, the words to a song a friend had sent me earlier, came to my find.  I won't post the full lyrics here, but if you want them just click here.  The first two stanzas are: 

Do you wonder why you have to,
feel the things that hurt you,
if there's a God who loves you,
where is He now?

Maybe, there are things you can't see

and all those things are happening
to bring a better ending
some day, some how, you'll see, you'll see

If you'd like a youtube video of the song, with lyrics, check this out.

Somethings never change.  And sometimes, G-d uses a clouded over sunset and the words of a song to remind me of what I really need to know. Sometimes, the biggest blessings are those that come in disguise.

PS:  This isn't the first time G-d has used a sunset misadventure to teach me a lesson.  Check out this post for another sunset lesson

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