Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Beginning or the End?

I've always loved this picture. It causes me to reflect on the negatives and positives of life. When was it taken? Where was it taken? Is it sunrise? Or is it sunset? Is there a message in it?

It could be sunset. It could be the downer side of life. It could be the darkness that is in the future - the darkness of tough decisions or of discouragement and maybe even fear of what tomorrow might bring. That's common in life today - questions of security, or health, or simply the unknown. Or maybe the possible ending of a lifestyle or of life itself. I've had my moments when I was bogged down with depression and maybe most of us have moments like that.

It could be sunrise - the dawn of a new day filled with new choices and new opportunities. The darkness is behind and we have the brilliance of the new day ahead. It brings light to the decisions we have to make, or opens doors to new opportunities - new hope from the darkness of indecision, hurt, fear, or frustration.

There have been so many times we've faced those moments. I prefer to look at life as a series of doors opening. Not closing. In all the church appointments I've ever served, I have never focused on what has been left behind. I'd rather look at changes like these as opportunities to do new things, meet new people, experience something exciting ahead, Yes, I have always regretted leaving people behind. Some people are always hard to leave. Some ministries were just beginning to be productive when we had to move somewhere else. And I've never forgotten those people or ministries. But like the person looking out from the beach at the sun low on the horizon I like to look to the possibilities ahead and the brightness of the new day.
If it's a sunset, let it be the opportunity to reflect on what is behind - and to
let the frustrations, fears and hurts of the past be absorbed in darkness. If it's a sunrise it is the dawn of fresh new life, new possibilities, and hope for the future.

This may all sound naive - simplistic. But I can say from experience that being bogged down in anger and fear and frustration isn't the solution. Like the lady looking out over the Gulf of Mexico from Bradenton Beach - there's something good out there just waiting to be found. Maybe a door opening to something new and positive just waiting to lift up your heart with hope and inner peace.

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