Sunrise, Sunset: Why Your Time Matters – A 220 Mile High View

“What do you know about tomorrow? How can you be so sure about your life? It is nothing more than mist that appears for only a little while before it disappears.” -James 4:14 (CEV)

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NASA Image – by Astronaut Ron Garan shows the rising sun as the station flew along a path between Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Buenos Aires, Argentina August 27, 2011

One day in August of 2011, International Space Station Astronaut Ron Garan reached for a high definition camera, pointed it out the window of a cupola and photographed a spectacular picture of sunrise near Brazil. The remarkable image shows the sun’s crown piercing the hemline which divides night from day. In an average day, space station astronauts see the sunrise 15 – 16 times as the spacecraft orbits Earth completing a full revolution roughly every 90 minutes.

The luxury of multiple sunrises is lost on the rest of us earthbound mortals. For us, the day’s sun rises once then never again.

No single event is more transformational than that moment a man realizes his sunrises are not without limit and come partnered with a certain sunset that silently awaits its own hour. That flash of reconciliation where mortality settles into your soul is like none other. In that very instant, life’s perpetual clock ticks most loudly and you clearly comprehend that your portion of eternity is more sliver than slice.

The hour in which we confront our reality is the one in which life truly takes shape and time acquires new meaning. Not only do the longevity of our years matter, but the days, hours and seconds do as well. All 60 ticks between each minute have great value. Each second that passes is one we’ll never see again – one we can’t recapture.

How do you spend the seconds of your day? What pursuits occupy your minutes? To whom do you grant the honor of your time? Is she or he worthy of your most precious commodity – life’s passing moments?

Eventually, we must account for our time, if not now at the radiance of the day, most assuredly later as the sun sets.

-Jonathan Clarke

(c) Copyright 2013, Jonathan Clarke, All rights reserved

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