Tomorrow is my 25th birthday. Every year around this time, I love to share a few thoughts on a coming new age. Whether you're my age, twice, or half, I think we can all benefit from a little reflection as we grow into another year.
As I watched the sunset on Labor Day from my family’s boat on Lake Martin, I realized the sun was setting on my first quarter century. It slipped up on me, just when I thought I was still living in the middle of golden hour early twenties. 25 was just a few weeks away and a new season was near.
This sunset on the boat was different from the countless others I’ve watched over the years in that spot. It was quite possibly the most remarkable, storybook sunset I’ve ever seen. Usually when I think of sunsets, I’m focused on the big event — the actual setting of the sun! But I never paused to wait and see what comes next before the stars and moon take over. The most beautiful moment that night happened after the sun slipped past the horizon. The rays burst up into beams of light. Each one reached upward toward the heavens, casting light even after the sun disappeared for the night.
I think the same is true for us. We think the sun has set — our opportunity is missed or gone or just out of reach (if only we had left shore a little sooner!) — when really, the best is yet to come. If we’d wait a little longer, with time light continues to shine even more beautifully in ways we perhaps did not expect. Just as I hadn’t noticed the sunset’s encore show before, I believe we’re all too quick to move on from one thing to the next, instead of savoring the moment’s present beauty.
This sunset also brought a whispered promise as I looked back at photos I had taken days later — God delights in surprising us. When we stop and look up, He gives us the capacity to notice. Sunsets are silent. In a world of constant noise all around us, sunsets usher in a quiet symphony unlike any other. Even as I typed that last sentence, my computer tried correcting ‘quiet’ to ‘quite.’ Our world does not put quiet and symphony together! But I believe that’s how God works His masterpiece in us and all He creates. Quietly, but full of majesty and splendor. Humbly, but bursting with light.
And that’s how I want to walk into 25 and the next 25 to come — quietly, humbly, and with eyes fixed upward. Waiting and looking for God’s surprises and hidden beauties. Ready and eager to continue carrying that light through my life to others.
Every year I focus on a Psalm that goes along with my age. As I read Psalm 25, God already surprised me. The words followed the same path of my prayer for year 25.
“Show me the right path, O Lord; point out the road for me to follow. Lead me by Your truth and teach me, for You are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in You.” (Verse 4-5)
“Remember me in the light of Your unfailing love, for You are merciful, O Lord.” (Verse 7b)
May it be so.