Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Sunsets and the Economy of Mercy

I vividly remember the Pacific Ocean

As the evening tide crushed the turf.

The horizon expanded as we approached its depth.

This represented the first defining moment of my trip.

My friends and I made small talk as we walked along the shoreline

Introspectively anticipating the coming beauty.

Finally, the spectacle that is the California sunset

Cascaded itself down the dark blue

Transforming the sky into a plethora of color

Red, orange, purple, fire.

I sat down in the water, allowing the ocean

To engulf my feet.

As I languished in the middle of the sand and turf,

I realized these were the only things

Separating me from innumerable miles

Of liquid eternity.

Forty days later, I sit at my desk

Trying to recall every minute detail

So I can once again savor that natural majesty.

Thank God for digital cameras

And cameras in general.

I couldn't even imagine living in the era

Before each moment and image of our lives

Could be successfully documented.

A century and some odd years ago

There'd been solitary travelers

Who had transversed hundreds or thousands of miles

To gaze upon such wonder.

Their only methods of capturing and absorbing these things

Had been their memory

And the occasional journal entry.

I guess I'm realizing how lucky we are.

During the last month and ten days or so

I've experienced more frustrations than I expected for this semester.

However, even when the battle of a particular day seemed lost

I clung to the image of the sunset

A snapshot of brilliance

A beacon of hope

Something that fulfills the natural and innate desire to be satisfied

By something much greater than our human experience.

In addition to reminiscing about my spring break trip

I've also enlisted the help of some of my favorite albums

From high school, the ones that characterized my days at JCIB.

I echo Jon Foreman of Switchfoot as he cries:

"I'm lost without You here."

I cannot help but think about the irony of this lyric

At least in my own life.

You never left me.

I was the one who ran away

From Your hope and truth.

A foolish man trying to discover purpose on his own.

Instead of scolding me like a nagging parent

You patiently pursued me and whispered to me

How much You cherished me.

When I began to approach the point of no return

You shouted for me to come home.

You knew there was something much better

Than the path I'd chosen for the moment.

Finally, in my desparation I turned back to look at You for one last time

And discovered You were much closer than I'd imagined.

In that moment, exuberant rejoicing announced victory

Throughout the heavenly realms

As joy surged through my heart once again.