Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Digital Detox (04/24/14)
TITLE: Never Miss a Sunset
By Diane M. Bowman
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This advice from a mother to her daughter has stayed with me for years. The account was of a very hardworking woman leaving her dirty dishes in the sink and the chaos in the house and walking outside to watch the sunset. Her daughter was mystified. The uncharacteristic laziness of her mother made absolutely no sense. How could she just walk away from her work to do something so unimportant? The sun sets every day. It would happen tomorrow, too. Why drop everything just for that?
I think I've found out why!
Like approximately 80% of the American population, I spend most of my days sitting at a desk, in a cubicle, staring at a computer screen. If it wasn't for the glass doors at the front of the office and the windows above my head that let in daylight, a person could become quite claustrophobic. So much of my time in the past several years has been spent looking at a computer screen that it can take a while to refocus on life around me after I look away. Shoulder and neck pain is the signal to correct the posture. The need for 'Deskercise' is no joke. The eye doctor will soon be increasing my prescription. Technology-induced eyestrain has taken its toll.
When the work day is ended, it's essential to refocus not only my weary natural eyes, but also my spiritual eyesight must have a return to proper perspective. Leaving the phone behind, leaving the computer behind, leaving the work behind, there's nothing better than to just go for walk and pray.
Taking a walk to pray at any time of the day is wonderful but when I made it a goal to never miss a sunset, I found a benefit I didn't expect. To plan a meeting with God, essentially at His timing, is exciting! Watching as the sun moves towards the horizon, I feel the anticipation mount. Is it time yet? No, just a little longer. Now? Almost. When it looks like it will be about 15 minutes until the sun dips down over the hills, it's time to go. Anything I'm doing can wait. Shoes on, jacket if needed, my plan is to be at the far end of the farm lane behind my house when the sky begins to glow.
On the way out, I lay my life out before God, confess failings, plead His promises, and thank Him for His mercy. The return walk is spent rejoicing in His majesty and bringing others and their needs to His throne.
As I begin the stroll back to the house I see the last streams of light beam up from behind the hills, then the sky begins to turn from blue, to gold, to pink. It casts a glow on the snow caps of the Stewart mountain range and the hills that surround our valley. The pine trees become a dark, dark green against the rosy display in the sky and birds add contrast as they fly over. I behold with awe His glory unfolding before me and my heart is at peace.
As Phoebe Brown described it:
"I love to steal awhile away
From every cumbering care,
And spend the hours of setting day
In humble, grateful, prayer."
When unanswerable questions come, when temptations bring me to the end of my strength, when hard times hit, I find I need God more than I ever realized before. Isaiah instructs us to 'Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things... Why sayest thou,... My way is hid from the LORD? ...the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not... there is no searching of His understanding (He knows your burdens.). He giveth power to the faint... they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. (Isaiah 40:26-31 KJV)
The setting of the sun has become a daily reminder that I have an appointment with God. It's as though I can hear Him say, 'Come! Come take a walk with me.' Watching the sky as night begins to fall never fails to leave me in amazement at the majesty of God. What better way to end the day than looking full into His face?
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