Which do you prefer the most…the sunrise or the sunset? And which do you observe the most?
I observe the sunset way more than I do the sunrise. I’m an early riser, but I never step outside to watch the sun rise. On a few occasions, when we’ve had an early flight, I’ve seen the sun rise and it’s spectacular. But for the most part, 99% of the time, I see the sunset more than the sunrise. Yet, each display is tremendous viewing!
Sunrise comes right after the darkest part of the night, and it’s quite breathtaking to see it rise in the dark sky and dispel the darkness. It’s the definition of beauty. It reminds us that the dark of night isn’t forever. We will see again and be able to walk and drive places without worry of bumping into things and causing injury. There will be warmth that comes with the rising of the sun, and often dispelling of clouds, or perhaps the heat will cause a reaction in the atmosphere to cause storms! Sunrise is necessary, it’s always faithful, and it’s never NOT happened.
Sunset comes at the end of a long day and offers us an invitation to come and sit, dine on the patio, take a long walk, and observe it’s passing from the top of the sky down below the horizon…to sleep for the night. Often, the moon is out before the sun fully sets, and I love it when that happens. Sunset displays an array of color across the sky, sometimes peeking through the clouds to form amazing images that artists love to copy onto canvas.
The fact that I observe the sunset more than the sunrise is something I’ve thought about lately. Sunset, in terms of life, often refers to the end…the last part of living on this earth. Elderly people are said to be in the sunset of their lives. Sunrise, since it happens in the morning and starts a new day, is often compared to birth, new things, the start of something fresh and fragrant and inviting!
I can easily slip into a pattern of observing the end of things, rather than the beginning. I can easily start to slide down a slippery path of worry and fear, when I consider sunset. I think that’s what we all considered as the pandemic began to spread. What if this is the end? What if the light of the day that we’ve all enjoyed is now coming to an end…for good? Our focus was on the fear of the loss of the good things of the day, once and for all.
But, whether we like God’s timing or wisdom or not, he put into place the sunrise and made it just as sure as the sunset. So when one day ends, another begins, equally full of promise and hope and light.
The world isn’t over, yet. But even if it is the sunset of things and days and light as we knew it, there’s a new day promised. Even if the end of the world is near, the biggest sunrise and the most spectacular one is promised as well. It will literally take our breath away and present to us a new order of life, one where justice reigns and all sorrow is gone. And that sunrise, I don’t want to miss out on! In fact, I want to be anticipating it and looking forward to it, every time the sun goes down.
Sunrise, sunset…think about which one you observe the most and why. Think about whether you fear the end of the light of day, or look forward to the end of the darkness.
It’s something to think about as you step outside and are seated once again on the patio of a restaurant to watch the sun go down, alongside many other patrons. It’s something to ponder as you worry about this and that, instead of sleeping in rest knowing another day is promised…either here or there…both days that He has made…a reason to rejoice.
Who knows, maybe I’ll purpose to watch the sun rise a bit more. It just might do me a world of good…