It’s way-too-early-:30 and I’m sitting at an airport. My wife and I just spent the weekend with two of my sons, my beautiful daughter-in-law and two wonderful granddaughters. We played games, went to dinner, visited, and attended a football game. Now, too soon, it is time to part. It’s not a long goodbye, as goodbyes go. We will see one son this afternoon and my other son’s family in two weeks. Nonetheless, it is a goodbye, and goodbyes always hurt. And I’m sitting here in this airport, feeling just a little sad.
One of the benefits of leaving on an early morning flight is that you get to see the sunrise. Most of the time our bodies have the good sense to keep us asleep while the sun goes through its wake up routine, but plane schedules have no respect for biorhythms. And airports with their large windows and flat horizons are great places to watch the sun come up. Today it is worth the trip.
Sunrises are moving paintings, they are beautiful and evolving. The deep blue night-background is gradually thinned, becoming a pale morning blue on its way to the royal blue of midday. Morning mist may appear as a dainty pink, bursting into fiery reds and oranges before fading to gold and finally ash-gray and white. Sunrises are beautiful, and they are as unique as the new day they welcome. I’ve been looking at sunrises for 50 years; I haven’t seen the same one twice yet.
I’ve heard people talk about capturing the sunrise, but that is impossible. You can paint a slice of it, photograph a moment of it, or even videotape it in high definition, and you will still capture only a fraction of a sunrise. Sunrises are alive, moving and as elusive as the clouds and air from which they are made; sunrises are meant to be experienced and then released, never to be seen again.
And such is life. The weekend with my granddaughters was wonderful, but now it is over. We will have more weekends together, God-willing many more, but they will never be exactly like this weekend. The two-year old will have learned a few more words and her developing brain will have discovered broader horizons which will change the look in her eyes forever. My son will be a little older, he will have another 14 days of experience, and even his 30-year-old world will have changed, if only in incremental ways. The location, the weather, the news of the day, all will conspire to prevent us from recreating the time spent together this weekend. The next time may be better or worse; we don’t know; but it will be a different time. This weekend arose, flamed, and passed like the sunrise. It was a beautiful weekend.
Have you noticed, whether in the Old Testament or the New, God never spends too much time talking about the big picture. He invites us to focus on today, and to enjoy it in its passing glory. We are to live by loving and being loved, without getting wrapped up in tomorrow’s concerns.
“This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.”