Short Story by Tim Davis ©2011
I’m looking to the west. The sun is just over the horizon and the sky is beautiful; red, gold, pink, purple, and blue; gorgeous! But as I look back over my shoulder to the east I can see that night is coming. It’s going to overtake me if I don’t keep moving. I don’t want to be overtaken by the darkness; I’m afraid of what the darkness will bring. I want to stay in the light and the only way to do that is to keep moving west – fast!
I’ve been chasing the sun for so long now. I’m sure that contentment is in the sun. Sometimes I make headway; I can see the sun actually rising in the western sky and the day getting brighter and brighter. But it takes so much effort to run faster than the sun. I get exhausted. But as soon as I slow down the sun begins to set again. In no time it’s over the western horizon and darkness is just over my shoulder once more. I’ve got to keep running, keep chasing the contentment that I know lies in the sun. I dare not rest or darkness will overwhelm me.
“Be still and know that I am God.”
“Who said that? Is that you Lord?”
“Be still and know that I am God.”
“How can I be still? If I stop chasing the sun then darkness is going to engulf my life. I’m afraid of the dark.”
But the Lord said; “If you will only stop running then the sun will sweep over you from behind without any effort on your part.”
“But Lord, I’ll have to go through the darkness. I’m scared of the dark.”
“I’ll be with you, trust Me.”
But I didn’t trust him. I ran even faster but I got even more exhausted. Now the effort to catch the sun was becoming obviously futile, even to someone as stubborn as me. Finally, depleted and hopeless, I stopped running. I braced myself for the approaching darkness. I gritted my teeth and closed my eyes and waited for what I knew would be the inevitable misery and embarrassment of having lost the race with the sun.
The darkness came fast and soon it was pitch black. Funny thing though, nothing terribly bad happened. In fact, once I resigned myself to my fate I found it quite restful. For the first time in my life I was able to feel relief, to get some sleep. After all, that’s what the darkness was created for; rest. Dare I say I felt content?
Sure enough, just as He promised, the sun rose again over my shoulder. I didn’t have to do anything but trust God to handle things. Things were brighter than I can ever remember. For the first time in my life I was content just to bask in the sunshine. I didn’t feel the need to run and catch the setting sun.
But it wasn’t long before I noticed that the sun was starting to sink into the western sky again. I knew if I didn’t start moving quickly, it was going to set and I’d be engulfed by darkness all over again. What should I do? Should I start running to keep up with the sun? I know how that ended last time. Should I just sit here and watch the beautiful sunset and be content that I got to witness the glory of God? If I make that choice then I’m also making the choice to go through the darkness again. But I also know that it will be just a matter of time before once again the dawn breaks over my shoulder.
I can see now that it’s a never ending cycle. If I rest in the glory of God then I will bask in the sunshine without any effort of my own but I will also go though the darkness.The apostle Paul said; “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” Paul knew that both daylight and darkness were part of mortal life. He understood that contentment wasn’t found in the light of the sun, but rather in the Light of the Son.
Intellectually I know that too. But do I truly know it? Is it in my heart? It is engraved on my soul? Is it who I am in Christ? Honestly and unfortunately, I have to answer no; at least not totally. I’m working on it. But that is part of the problem. I know that as long as I am working on it the problem will never be solved. It is only by stopping my efforts and letting God have control that I will find the contentment that every man longs for; the contentment that can only be found in the Light of the Son of God.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” – Jesus