Another Reflection on the Same Sunrise


I confess that I feel like I have less patience for things taking time than I used to.  I can guess that I’m probably not alone in that.  Why wait in a line when I can use the self check-out line?  That thing is going to take how long to arrive after ordering it?  But you promised me that my food would be ready to pick up at 6pm!   I texted you 15 minutes ago and you haven’t responded – are you ignoring me?!  Any of these sound familiar?  

Along with what I wrote about in my previous post about Sunday’s sunrise, I also noticed something about that stunning moment.  When I first got to where I could see the horizon, there was just the tiniest glimpse of pink in the eastern sky and then grayish clouds extending out from there.  But I’ve seen enough sunrises to know that pretty soon all of those clouds would be illuminated in those stunning colors.  But it was going to take a little while to get there.  Did I have the patience both within myself and also with Scout to just sit there for 5-10 minutes?  I wish I could say I did.  But instead, I set up my phone on a mini tripod and left it to record and went for a few loops in the immediate area all the while keeping looking up at the sunrise and the pink began to expand through the sky.  I returned to the dock about 5 minutes later with the sky fully illuminated with a pinkish orange glow.   

Had I just sat down to take it in, I don’t know if I would have recognized the changes taking place – the growth of the color was so gradual that it was only after a bit that it became clear that the transformation was taking place.  The two videos are of the same scene but one is normal speed (about 5 minutes) and the other speeds up the whole to about 20 seconds and you can see the flow of the colors.  

There’s a quote that I have up on one of my office shelves that says, “isn’t it funny how day by day nothing seems to change but when you look back everything is different?”   I bought that because that speaks to how life feels at times.  It is hard to see how changes happens.  Sometimes we only see the immediate things that take place and it is hard to see how they all fit together into a larger whole.  This is my experience in my own life but also my experience with the wider events in our country and our world. 

My friend, Rabbi David, shared this quote on his Facebook page this morning:

For weeks I have been watching hope being stripped away-piece by piece- and yet in my heart I still have hope we can make it.

Martin Luther King Jr spoke of how the moral arc of the universe bends towards justice.  But it is hard to see that bend toward justice when so many things feel like the bend is moving the other way.  So even as I wait for those glimpses of the bend toward justice, towards God’s transformation of this world, and for the hopes I have for my life and for the lives of others…I hold to hope and trust in what is promised.  But even as I hold to those things, I have work to do – it isn’t just sitting and waiting but it is working, it is living out justice, mercy, and living humbly and it is helping others to see those changes.  

I am grateful for the wisdom of the Psalmist who wrote into something like this when we read:

I believe that I shall see the goodness of the LORD
in the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD;
be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the LORD!

Psalm 27:13-14
Normal Speed
Fast Speed
Categories: PatienceTags: , , , ,

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