Sunsets and Commitments

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Sometimes we have an unobstructed view of incredible beauty. 

Quick life update, in August I will enter my tenth year of teaching in a town and district I expected to teach and live in for one year. God thinks He is real funny. Every year I teach one year at a time, you know to keep my options open. But this spring an opportunity arose and I took it. I will not only start my tenth year of teaching here in Tulsa, but on top of that I committed to at least three more here. Typing that out makes my palms sweat and my breath shorten.

I know without a doubt this new challenge will push and mold me in brand new ways, but actually committing to stay in Tulsa beyond one more year of teaching means I’m putting down roots.

You see, I always took teaching and in turn my life, year by year. The thought of leaving Tulsa always provided me with this grand sense of looming adventure. You know, the great wide somewhere that Belle sings about. But for a long time longing for that adventure caused me to miss seeing the adventure I lived day to day. Looking back at my nine years in Tulsa I now realize the many many many adventures I experienced.

All of this reminded me of a time when my friend Becca and I were on a walk discussing life and making up personalities, accents and backstories for all the houses we passed. You know, totally normal things people do. The sun, just about to set, started to light up the sky.

As the sun slipped towards the horizon, the colors of the sky began to change into vibrant oranges, yellows, pinks and purples. We could only see a small sliver of the sky through the houses and trees. We then decided to try to find an area where we could see the whole sky and take in all the beauty of the setting sun.

We rushed from block to block looking for an opening. The faster we we went the faster the sun seemed to sink below the trees. We knew it was about a mile to the river, where we we would have a clear view of the entire sunset. As we walked towards the river, we both strained our eyes and tried to get there as fast as we could. But with each step the sun grew dimmer.

After we accepted we would not make it in time to see the full sunset, we stopped. I sulked hoping we could make it, but knowing we would not.

Then I realized, sometimes we don’t need to see the entire sunset to enjoy its beauty.


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A sunset reflects off of a building in NYC

Sometimes we can only see the sliver between trees or buildings, and that is enough.


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Day fades into night from a porch I sat on in Salt Lake City.

Sometimes God only shows us part of His plan.


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The trees block most of the colors as they wisp across the sky from my hammock.

Sometimes we only get to see part of the sunset God paints.

Sometimes God will only show us the sunset between the trees and we just have trust that one day we will step back and see the picture in its entirety. Many times we want all the answers and God just gives us a next step. Rest in that step. Rest in knowing He is good and He has a plan far more perfect than you could ask or imagine.

I have zero idea what exactly lies in my future, but oh do I have questions. But I know what to hold true, God sees the whole sunset. He knows how the colors fade and run together. He sees how the clouds shift through the fading light when my view is obstructed. He is painting something filled with incredible beauty. I’ll see it all in His timing, as frustrating as that can be at times.

 

 


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