As we were traveling west this evening, making our way home, Jason and I gasped at the sight of an amazing sunset. The sky was clear, except for a few brushstrokes, but the colors moved from an electric blue blanket to corrals and oranges so vibrant and exciting that it was hard to turn away and focus on the drive. With each hill and valley, the sunset revealed itself, and hid, only to return again with a different glow. We chased that sunset for miles, trying to find the perfect perspective to capture it in a picture. But it was elusive, and there were power lines, lights, and cars with which to contend. It became a frustrating adventure, that in the end grew to be more about the chase itself. And we both sighed and laughed at our behavior, knowing that we would never see that sunset again.
In retrospect, I appreciate the chase, savor the adventure, and will forever keep the memory of that picturesque sunset in my heart. Yes, it’s disappointing. But it’s also hopeful, because it existed, even if only for a brief moment.
In church this morning, I remember our priest quoting a verse, saying that our lives were but a blink of an eye. Sunsets are the same. Love is also a blink. Sometimes we can capture it, but usually we only get to experience it momentarily. If a love elludes us, it’s only because it wasn’t ours to keep. It wasn’t ours to capture.
There will be more. There will be more sunsets, more sunrises, more loves. And eventually, one will take. But it’s in the beauty of those loves that we chase and lose that we find our own unique painting – complete with brushstrokes, the right amount of light and happiness, and the understanding that we cannot keep the beauty for ourselves. At least not until it is ours to keep.
Faith is chasing sunsets, and understanding that finding the right perspective has everything to do with timing, and nothing to do with want.