The sunset was especially nice Wednesday night but it was almost gone when I arrived at Concord Church. This was the last gasp of the day’s light and darkness would fall within minutes.
When I turned to go, this was the scene behind me.
Sunset is a prompt to stop, rest and reset in preparation for a new day. It’s kind of reassuring to know that the world gives us this consistency. No matter where you are in the world, the day will be bookended by something miraculous. As the sun sets you can rest assured it will rise again.
If we’re lucky, tomorrow is a new day. Enjoy today, get some rest and prepare to do it all again tomorrow.
As usual, I proved again last night that driving in a straight line really isn’t my thing. Concord Church is located just outside Chillicothe, Ohio and is one of my favorite local churches. It’s lovely the way it’s set back from the road with a pretty gate, wrought iron fence and grove of trees. But it was all the more beautiful as the setting sun created a cotton candy sky. Unfortunately, there were cars in my rearview so I went up the road and turned around to head back for a better look.
There’s just something special about a house of worship beneath a beautiful sky. Isn’t it pretty?
The doors are still dressed up for the holiday making the scene even more charming.
Regulars here are likely tired of hearing this but I’ll say it again for everyone in the cheap seats. Always, always, always stop for the picture. Even if you have to turn around and go back. I have never regretted making the stop but have plenty of regrets about the times I kept going.
Life is too short for regrets. Just turn around and go back. It really is that easy.
This photo comes from a rest area near Gallipolis, Ohio and captures the last gasp of the setting sun Wednesday night. The parking lot was stacked with eighteen wheelers and the exit ramp was lined with the big trucks as well. These truckers crisscross the country, keeping goods and raw materials moving and our economy moving. They are symbols of progress and activity in our country.
I had just come from a joint meeting of local school boards where we dined and offered up some beginning of the school year inspiration. We heard from a professor of History and African American studies talk about his ideas for inspiring young people and giving them the tools to build a better tomorrow. Like any good historian, he encouraged teaching the hard truth about our history as understanding where we’ve been will set us on a better path to tomorrow. It’s when we teach the hard stuff and stop politicizing education that we will see real progress.
I appreciated his perspective and left with much food for thought on the drive home. Yet it was hard to concentrate. You see, I was on my way home to visit a sick aunt who won’t live to see this better tomorrow that our speaker described. She has terminal cancer, a disease that has robbed her of all quality of life, of her ability to speak or perform the simplest tasks for herself. There’s no life in her eyes and I can’t help but think her existence is no way to live.
She could be gone by the time you read this. Maybe it will be days from now. It is not ours to know. While I don’t want to lose her, I hope for her sake that her suffering ends soon.
This week has involved far more in-person interactions than normal. People seem more stressed than normal. Some seem depressed or sad. They are quick to tell you that something isn’t their job or that you’re wrong. Others are a little edgy, looking for trouble and ready to hurl an insult.
I try to remember that you don’t know where other people are coming from or where they’re headed to at that moment. Maybe they’re coming from an inspiring event where they learned something or that left them excited for the future. Maybe they’re headed home to say goodbye to someone who matters to them. Maybe they’re simply working hard to keep moving forward in whatever they’re doing. Maybe they need to take a break and rest for a while as these truckers are doing in this picture.
The point is that we need to be a little more patient and more tolerant of the people we encounter each day. It costs zero dollars to be a decent person and you never know when a bit of patience or a kind word will make a difference to someone else. You never know when that person who was rude to you will suddenly become nice simply because you extended a kind word to them.