Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow...

I have always loved sunsets. Up until my senior year they were one of my favorite aspects of nature. Sunsets, like snowflakes and fingerprints, are each unique. The sun never sets the same way twice. The light it leaves behind as it disappears on the distant horizon changes each and every day.

As the sunset on graduation night, I couldn't help but look back on all of the wonderful memories I had made up until that point. It was hard to say goodbye to those wonderful years filled with late night runs to 7-11 for Orange Bang, awkward school dances, high school crushes, etc. That night after all of the festivities were over we ended up underneath the bleachers on the high school football field. It was the perfect place to end the night, and an even better place to start the day.

Most of my friends had fallen asleep but I had stayed awake to see the sun rise slowly above the Wasatch Mountains and fill the western half of the valley with warmth and light. As it got higher and higher the light made it's way to the east carrying with it all of the hope and anticipation of 'the first day of the rest of my life'.

Since that day, sunrises have gained a slight advantage over sunsets. The contrast in their symbolism is as different as night and day and they are each the more beautiful because of it.

The following song articulates the idea better than I can:

"I think over again my small adventures, my fears,
Those small ones that seemed so big.
For all the vital things I had to get and to reach.
And yet there is only one great thing,
The only thing.
To live to see the great day that dawns.
And the light that fills the world."
(Inuit Song)

As you see the sun set today and think of the days events, look to the sun rise tomorrow and all of the possibilities it carries with it.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The English author G.K. Chesterton once said:

"Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed."

We are often painfully aware of the 'dragons' in our lives. They do not hide in far away caves. They are not waiting for us to approach them. We do not need to be reminded of their fiery flames...we've been burned before.

What we do need is to know that those dragons can be slain regardless of their size or strength.

We need to know that we possess the power to overcome the trials and tribulations that we face on a daily basis.

We need to know that we are not alone. We have fellow dragon-slayers in our midst. Those who struggle with problems of their own, and perhaps more importantly, those who will join our fight and help us slay our dragons. We should also be willing to wield the sword of defense for those who are struggling to support its weight on their own.

That is one type of fairy tale...of course there are others. They have a similar theme. By changing just a few of Chesterton's words we can see another example:

"Fairy tales do not tell us that love exists. We know that loves exists. Fairy tales tell us that we can find that love."

We could explore a variety of different versions but the idea is the same.

“Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.”* - John C. Maxwell

*i may have already used that quote before, but i like it so you get to read it again.