Friday, June 15, 2007

The Blessing of the Sunset

Just as the sunrise is a wonderful blessing from God, so to is the sunset. With the sunrise, we are greeted with a new day filled with possibility and potential. At the sunset, the accomplishments of a day passed can be considered and evaluated. However, introspection is a valuable tool that many forget or refuse to employ.

I can remember a hike to Marble Falls, a scenic waterfall not many miles from Camp Blue Haven. My good friend, Chetlen Crossnoe, and I had hiked to Marble Falls and spent the afternoon scaling the rocks and enjoying the spectacular sights and were headed back to camp. We became distracted by this and that and found ourselves a couple of miles past the point where we should have turned onto the trail that led to camp. Instead of retracing our steps and returning to the trailhead, we decided to cut cross country and use our orienteering skills to find our way back to camp. We found camp, but only after hiking about 15 miles further and several hours longer than we would have had we followed the proper trail.

Introspection is the opportunity to retrace our steps, to look back down the trail we have taken, and to reevaluate where we are headed. Life is filled with missteps, many of which we could have avoided, and many of which would not have been as disastrous if we had taken the time to stop, think, and get our bearings. Most of our trouble comes when we keep barreling forward without any sense of caution or regret.

The sunset is a blessing. One day is drawing to a close. The long, still night lies before us. There is a moment of respite before a new, busy day dawns. The sunset facilitates, rather, invites introspection. Will we accept the gift as it is given?