Saturday, January 12, 2008

Sunsets, not Sushi

View from a farmer's field along my route.

My mom and I were joking the other day about how I'm deadline motivated. She remarked that it's not just that deadlines motivate me to accomplish things; it's that deadlines are the only things which motivate me.

I couldn't really argue with her.

Over the break I've been riding my bike, to fight atrophy and because it's fun. It may not help that I haven't been rising much before noon, but it always seems to be 4:30 before I realize that I would like to go on a bike ride today and I don't have much time before the sun sets. Deadline motivation at its most pervasive.

The upside of such a temperament is, I realized today, I get to see the sunset every time I ride.

Let me tell you, sunsets are not the kind of thing that gets old. In fact, I've found there's an extra layer of wonder to be had in going out and seeing it every day. To see the sun set is one thing. But to see it go down day after day, blazing glory after blazing glory, over any length of time is quite another.

It's astounding that it's always there. It's been rising and setting every day, reaching incomprehensibly long before I was born, and it will keep rising and setting, Lord tarrying, long after I die. And tomorrow evening, whether I'm looking or not, it will be there.

Yeah, yeah, it's cloudy sometimes. Whatever.

I consider it an immense gift that I live only a short bike ride away from a clear view of the horizon. It is one of the great tragedies of living in the city that the views of the heavens are obscured beyond daily remembrance, one reason I think it would be very hard for me to settle there permanently. Sunset in the city? The best that you can usually do is perceive that it's happening out there, somewhere.

It is the same with God. He has been his glorious self since before the foundation of the world, and he'll keep being his glorious self long after these heavens and this earth have passed away. And he's there every day, free for us to behold, whether we're looking or not. And usually, we retreat into enclaves of our own making, content to allow our own structures and our own lights to block him out of our view, freeing us from the need to acknowledge his majesty.

I could go on, but I think it sufficient to say that
The heavens declare the glory of God;
And the firmament shows His handiwork.

Day unto day utters speech,
And night unto night reveals knowledge.
In them He has set a tabernacle for the sun,
Which is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
And rejoices like a strong man to run its race.

Its rising is from one end of the heaven,
And its circuit to the other end;
And there is nothing hidden from its heat.
Psalm 19:1-2,4b-6


StefLenz said...

wait until you see the sunset over the pacific ocean [i'm just assuming you day]. one of the most amazing views ever.

Nicholas said...

I was afraid you would claim sunset superiority over me. I do imagine (and imagine is all I can do) that it's spectacular, but I still maintain the wonder of our pastoral sunsets here.

xiaokang said...

*lol* I love pastoral sunsets too, it's one of the best things back home . We get an unlimited view of the horizon out on the prairie, very spectacular sunsets, the corn fields go on and on kind of like the ocean, but it does get extremely boring if you have to drive.