Thursday, May 11, 2006

Chasing Sundown

“How long does practice go?”
“Yesterday they ended when the sun went down.”
“So, when should I get there?”
“I’m sure they’ll play again until sundown, so…get there before the sun goes down.”

AND WHAT TIME, PRAY TELL ME, IS THAT? The other day my counselor used the phrase, “We are creatures of time and seasons.” I sort of knew what time sundown was, but there was one problem. That time could be earlier or later depending on the cloud cover. Not only that, I had to drop off one son for a study session on one end of town and the other at church for youth group. The road (I would normally take) to the next town gets backed up sometimes due to a nifty 4 way stop in a burgeoning housing area. Fortunately? This time it was easy to get through it.

The sun was very clearly descending. I have always struggled with running late. I remember in college writing a poem about not being late for the rapture. Because I was not just picking up my own son, I was under extra pressure. The coaches are so faithful to the kids. I didn’t want to disrespect their time by being late. God was faithful. The last of the kids had just been picked up. I thanked the coach and headed away from the sunset which was completing it’s descent…getting ready to cast its ‘green line’ on the horizon out there along the coastal horizon.

On the ride home I found myself to be in a melancholy mood…listening to music and just letting the boys chat with one another. At home I fixed my son a bean and egg burrito (he helped). I did the dishes, folded laundry, and put stuff away. There are so many piles.

Finally I found myself able to rest. I was reading in Isaiah…chapter 44 into 45. And who says God doesn’t know just where we will be reading …?

“I am the Lord and there is no other. Apart from Me there is no God. I will strengthen you, though you have not acknowledged me so that from the rising of the sun to the place of its setting men may know there is none besides Me. I am the Lord, and there is no other.” Isaiah 45: 5,6

Okay, so does that encapsulate the day?! …Apart from Me…
Certainly a nice reminder of Who created everything—Who wraps up the day.

Here are some random reflections. Ugg…no pun intended…on sunrise/sundown from my journal.

Sunset. Do we LOOK for it every day?
The (bike) riders set out early in the morning
Delighted to start the day with the Creator
Some things we can be sure of in life:
Sunrises and sunsets don’t all call our name, but there are days we take notice and marvel at the sight.
A reminder routinely of: new life and the resurrection….and God’s constancy and faithfulness.
Lighting a new day, delivering hope
Sunset brings a time to rest …to restore our hearts…standing tall…
Walking in His character
Knowing the ride takes us up hills and down into valleys—
Imagining heaven, not knowing that journey was moments away
Yet from our birth we are chasing the sundown….
The reality of the end of our life (here)…
Choosing to leave a legacy or the pride of an inheritance.

Pedal one more turn or coast in a restful mode…strategizing…planning

Whether we like it or not, we approach that day. Our time here is but a small piece of the length of eternity. We strive to get one more thing done, reach one more goal, make one more dollar. What brings us a feeling of success?

Are we running from sundown? Are we afraid of the end? Feeling like this life is the all?

You are my Hallelujah
my Reason
my Joy
You are…the place of my hiding.

Imagine driving down a tree-lined street…the sun casting theatrical shadows and sparkles on the faces of those with whom you are riding. I can just imagine this street going off into the sunset. Idealistic…nostalgic; call it what you may. To drive off, ride off—would that it would be that easy for us left behind. The comments, “They are in a better place…” I suppose there is a time we get to where we acknowledge that truth if they knew Jesus. I can only suppose grief is so much more heart-wrenching when one isn’t sure of the faith of one recently gone.

Similarly, we each have pictures of a path—a walk, a beach, a ____________. This path moves us in time—toward the end of another day—sunset; sundown. The gentleness of the end of a day.

I haven’t written in a while. Life has been a little, no, a lot, hectic. Very American really…baseball and apple pie. Actually, spring plays (summer plays—we somehow skipped spring here and went straight to hot summer), junior proms, senior balls and graduation. And when was I supposed to order announcements? December? And it is May? Hmmm….guess I am chasing sundown on that one. The blessing is that my first graduate was able to put a Bible verse in his announcement. I am sooooo proud of him. (What do single parents do when they want to brag on their kids? I read a book when the kids were little called The Hurried Child. We didn’t push our kids or make flash cards…we just asked them to do their best. My oldest has earned the role of Co-salutatorian! Please forgive my bragging. I’m sure Michael is so proud of him…and we would have talked about it with each other.)

I won't wrap this entry up into a tidy package...I'll leave it "unfinished" for so much of my paperwork. A friend reminds me I can only do what I can do...and, come sundown, I need to put it on dresser...where I can pick it up again in the morning. Some things we need to leave at Jesus' feet...other things are realities of human life...

My anniversary was bittersweet, but God was gracious. We shared our anniversary date with our "adopted Grandparents" here. They were married 64 years this year... sweet Rosalie went to be with Jesus 4 days later. Pray for her Duane. Just imagine her sunrise!

I am indescribeably grateful for you,
Annie B


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