We paddled down the lake and stopped for a few moments to visit with friends. Behind us the sun slipped lower. “We must go,” I said, “it’s almost time.”

Tom and I turned the canoe and cruised straight into a glorious sunset. Grey clouds edged with pink radiated out from the horizon, inviting us in. I checked behind me. Scattered across the sky, deep rose clouds stretched out like comfy arm chairs. When I turned back, the entire sky glowed with colour, silver, gold, pink, blue. Right in the centre of a fluffy cloud streaked through with purple hovering at the horizon, an angel surrounded with golden light appeared. “Look,” I cried and pointed. We rested our paddles and stared. ‘Three minutes, five minutes, the colours shifted, the brilliance darkened. Slowly, the angel shape began to change. Seven minutes and it had become a white cross in a dark cloud. Ten minutes and it was gone.

Sunsets are one of God’s everyday gifts of extravagant beauty.  Some are spectacular, some just a golden glow. All last ten maybe fifteen minutes and they are gone. Yet as we watch, time stops and our worries cease. We are enveloped in the presence of God. In the Bible the Psalmist says, “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is humankind that you are mindful of us, human beings that you care for us?”  (Psalm 8:3-4)

I encourage each of you to make a date with a sunset at least once a week. Regardless of your schedule and/or your worries, give yourself a few moments of amazing beauty. Surrender to God’s free gift and give thanks. It will change your life.

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