Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Chasing the Sunset

At 7 o'clock tonight, I had rehearsal at church about 5 miles from home.  I am playing my trumpet again this Sunday in a brass duet along with the piano.  Getting into my car around 7:45pm, the sky had those really thin clouds stretched across the western sky and the sun was racing for the western horizon.  It looked like a brilliant orange furnace...but I couldn't see the source.  I don't know what it is...I'm a sucker for sunrises and sunsets and as many of you know...Mr. Moon.  It's been awhile, but do you remember my Mr. Moon posts?  He has a route, you know...a 7 mile out-n-back from my house that I ran with him that is nice-n-hilly through the countryside.  Lots of deep thoughts and 'upward' discussion happened on those runs.  I look forward to those runs again someday.  Back to the sunset: I started my drive north towards home and was fueled with a passion to find the highest spot in my hometown as fast as I could so I could see the source of the sunset and catch a picture of it.  With the way the clouds were, it would be brilliant to remember.  I turned left off the main route, headed towards Mr. Moon's route where I knew hills were...surely, the highest spot would be there and the picture would be mine.  I sped up...I slowed.  Nope, I can't see it.  I sped up again, took a few turns, and slowed down.  Nope, still can't see it.  Surely, I'll catch a great picture on the "cereal bowl" hill...that's the hilliest spot around and halfway through Mr. Moon's route.  I get there and to my dismay...nothing.  At this point, I self-check myself..."Am I really chasing the sunset?  Seriously?  Am I also getting frustrated by not getting it?  SERIOUSLY???  These happen EVERY DAY OF MY LIFE!!!  Get a grip."  I speed on, knowing there is a big clearing up ahead where a big soybean field is.  "Surely, I can get a picture there," I thought.  Dangit.  Nothing.  It's diving too fast to the horizon.  At this point, I don't know of any other high spots around and head on home.  As I pull into our neighborhood, I begin to see more of the sky then make the turn up my road.  I live on a cul-de-sac and my house faces due west.  As I get to the top, I rapidly park my car in the garage and walk out front.  This is what I saw.
As you can see, the view from our house is looking across the rooftops and across the distant tree-line.  It is, as far as I know, one of the highest spots in my hometown.  That tree-line is what I couldn't see over when I was driving.  Turns out...if I had just driven home...straight from church, I would've had a front-row seat to a breath-taking sunset.  Instead, what did I do?  I chased what I thought was the better way...the better route...the better view.  If I had just focused on what I knew to be true, I would've found my "sunset happiness."

I'm sure you know where I'm going with this.  As I drove more and chased more, I kept thinking how unbelievably parallel this chase was to our rat-race life.  We (as a general) chase money...we chase fame...we chase more friends, more things, more...more...more.  In the meantime, we are missing out.  We are missing out on the stuff that's really important.  Maybe it's time with family, your kids, or finishing up that home project that's been staring us down for months or perhaps even years on end.  The possibilities are endless and so is the chase if we don't make the decision to re-direct our path.  My chase tonight felt scary-real.  Just 45 minutes prior, I was asked the ever-popular "How's it goin'?"  Let me tell you...don't ever ask me that question unless you REALLY want to know, OK?  I'll tell you.  I didn't spill my guts but I did mention words like "never-ending"..."over-stressed"..."go-go-go"...  Then, my sunset chase on the way home.  It all just came front and center at once.  

All that to say this: go get as many sunrises and sunsets as you can.  Don't miss them because of poor decisions and messed up priorities.  You just never know when you're not going to get another one.  Then, it's too late.

To tomorrow's sunrise... 

1 comment:

Mr. P said...

Very well said! It's so easy to develop tunnel vision and forget about the things that are really worth noticing.