Sunrise, Sunset

Sunsetflt2It was a perfect night to fly.

With nearly unlimited visibility, quiet winds and the sun fading on the western horizon, I was excited to climb into the copilot’s seat on my boss’s Pilatus to head home after a week at corporate headquarters.

But I was in no way prepared for the longest sunset I had ever experienced.

Oranges, reds, yellows and purples I had never seen mingled in a kaleidoscope of color nearly overwhelmed my mind’s palate.

Flying into a sunset seems to extend its life and expand its beauty.

Living in Florida exposes me constantly to beautiful sunsets. Summertime with its thunder storms that fill each evening’s sky with towering clouds creates a perfect environment for majestic grandeur of the day’s fading sun.

Sunsetflt1But in the right seat of the plane Friday night, I encountered an intensity of color and a depth of contrast between sun, sky and horizon that was unlike any sunset I had ever experienced. It raised again a question I have pondered many times in the past few months.

Why are we so obsessed with sunrises and sunsets?

All you need is a Facebook feed or Instagram account and you will quickly see how many of us can’t resist snapping a picture of the sun’s daily routine…the repetition of which we never seem to tire.

I am convinced that this fascination is built on our constant need for beginnings and endings.

Life in its best and worst moments simply demands the turning of a page. Inception and closure. Beginning and end. Start and finish…or maybe, start and re-start.

  • The wonderful thing about life with God is that there is always room for “starting-overs”.
  • The powerful thing about life with God is that all our “starting-overs” are stitched together into one “never-ending”.

Sunsets remind us that old stuff ends. Todays–with all their traumas and mistakes; joys and delights–come to a close.

Sunrises tell us that new stuff begins. Tomorrows–with all their questions and uncertainty; hope and promise–give a fresh start.

As Tevya once wistfully sang,
Sunrise, sunset,
Swiftly fly the years,
One season following another,
Laiden with happiness and tears.

Sunrises lead to sunsets. Sunsets celebrate sunrises.

We stop. We start over.

But we are not a series of disjointed episodes with no overriding story or uniting theme.

Sewn together by the mysterious thread of God’s overarching pattern, life with God is a weaving of realities and contrasts that creates a beauty only appreciated from an eternal point of view.

David, the often meteoric and sometimes neurotic songwriter-king of Israel, lived a life characterized by the manic extremes of wild successes and utter failures. Anyone looking objectively at his life, family, leadership and personality is tempted to stamp “dysfunction” as the summation.

But there was a hidden secret beneath the raw realities of David’s checkered life. God knew this unpredictable shepherd as “a man after My own heart.” (Acts 13:22)

That single strain was the thread God used to bind together all the sunrises and sunsets of David’s daily to create a life the Father summed up like this:

“Now when David had served God’s purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep; he was buried with his ancestors…” (Acts 13:36).

He served Gods purpose in his generation…that’s how God remembered him.

Not the adulterer; or murderer; or manipulator; or negligent father…not any of the labels we would so easily stitch into the fabric of his life.

What people can only see as fragmented and broken, God has the vision to see as complete and whole.

As he pulls together the dangling threads of our lives to create a patchwork reflection of grace, we are able to enjoy the hope of sunrises and the relief of sunsets knowing the life they frame will be completed in His never-ending day.


6 comments on “Sunrise, Sunset

  1. […] Moment in Time Standing Ovation, SeatedLubyanka Cellars, or why I was absent from my blog KindlingWordSunrise, Sunset unbolta Portrait charlottesville wintergirl leans alone on window sill Chronicles of an Anglo […]


  2. I enjoyed reading this.
    I find it interesting that it’s sometimes hard to distinguish a sunrise from a sunset in a photo. They often resemble. But I agree, apart from their beauty, I think we are obsessed with sunrises and sunsets because of what they symbolize.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love this! I am moving to Florida in 3 weeks, am here right now as we sought and bought a home. And I admit to struggling with the end and the beginning. But I also believe that God goes ahead of me, and with me, and I will watch His sunrises and sunsets as reminders of His everlasting love. Thanks for your post!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi! For me it is simply that the sun’s activity is beautiful. It must be amazing to see it in flight!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Michael,

    Your blog this morning met me early, moments ago. It is, among a plethora of masterpieces, the best yet! I was driven to tears and asked myself, “Why? What’s going on in this thing inside me, labeled a soul? I will seek to describe it in a few words. It was a joyful celebration, prompted at first by the sheer genius reflected in the ability to share a lofty view of God’s beauties in the order of things. More than that it was a stirring of memories, both good and bad, of years long gone, the gladnesses we shared of the goodness of God gathered around a genuine display of the Presence, the too-sudden end, the crushing disappointments of failure. It was a stern and delightful reminder that, in the Kingdom, failure is never final (unless it is believed to be) but may indeed be a pulling back to prepare for a new and better day. In the case of Michael Thompson that possibility has been realized and it merits a string of exclamation marks!

    Michael, indeed is back, he really is! REALLY!!! I could go on, Michael, but what I have to say will wait until we can get together. An immediate proposition. A man has come from far-off Malaysia to find out more about the Kingdom. This was precipitated by a few hours of exposure to a Kingdom sighting one afternoon in the Philippines last November! A sighting became a seeing and the seeing has become a seeking and he is caught , captured and consumed with the Kingdom like a stage-four virus! He came last Wednesday and will leave this coming Wednesday. I want him to meet you. Are you in town? If so, could we have a cup, a snack or meal? It doesn’t matter so let me know. Singing in the Reign, Jack


    Liked by 1 person

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