When complacency becomes habitual and the momentum of life becomes predictable, we very rarely stop to thank and appreciate the centrepiece of our beloved solar system; The Sun. It faithfully rises and sets, heats our planet though occasionally forgetting to visit Britain, and has some integral cosmic affects on the solar system that allows the earth to orbit rather consistently around it. The sun’s activity is equivalent to 92 billion nuclear bombs detonating every second, blasting out light at 186,000 miles a second to reach the earth 94 million miles away in just eight minutes. [Science note: A lightyear is light travelling at this speed for an entire year, i.e. 5.88 trillion miles - it's distance, not time.] Before I bore you to tears, you may like this; 94 million miles away means it that if NASA sent people out there in the fastest shuttle on the planet, it would take them 17 years at full speed.

We cannot allow the great British summer (please salute) to reflect the greatness of the sun, despite it being a fairly regular and commonplace star in our Milky Way galaxy. It’s fair to say that something so powerful and so deserving of a round of applause for all its work over the years is only praised when it presents the opportunity to provide us with a tan and a barbeque. It would require the endurance of a modern ice age to make most of us really appreciate this beauty of a star. Were it to move just a few miles off track in our direction, we would at least appreciate the distance it keeps.

I hope this doesn’t feel like I’m encouraging us to worship the sun; hang fire.

The night is darkest right before the dawn, and in these dark times of life, we need to know that the sun will rise eventually. In short and to quote a song lyric of The Black Keys, “you know what the sun’s all about when the lights go out”. Fortunately these dark times need not be wasted or simply endured, but can be used to direct us to the light and remind us that darkness is quite simply the absence of light – not vice versa; light cannot be overcome by darkness. (Psalm 18:28)

The sun is ever powerful, ever effective and ever fulfilling its purpose often without our recognition or respect. Our failure to recognise it does not negate its immense and consistent sustenance of the earth. True to His creation of the red sun, Jesus echoes this sentiment in our lives. His plans and His purpose, however hidden or shrouded in mystery they may appear are as active and certain as the sun on a second by 92-billion-nuclear-bomb second basis. We can hide in dark places, allow our flesh to find the shadows and cover ourselves from what light may reveal. God made a clear and universal invitation to us all to walk out into the light, soak up the rays and appreciate the power and magnificence under the cover that He provides.

Ephesians 5
6(M)Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things (N)the wrath of God comes upon (O)the sons of disobedience.
7Therefore do not be (P)partakers with them;
8for (Q)you were formerly (R)darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as (S)children of Light
9(for (T)the fruit of the Light consists in all (U)goodness and righteousness and truth),
10(V)trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.
11(W)Do not participate in the unfruitful (X)deeds of (Y)darkness, but instead even (Z)expose them;
12for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret.
13But all things become visible (AA)when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light.
14For this reason it says,
“(AB)Awake, sleeper,
And arise from (AC)the dead,
And Christ (AD)will shine on you.”

The sun will rise for good eventually, and there will be no more darkness. I long for this time and look forward to sharing it with you who read this. Until then, God let us have faith in your light when it is dark, find the light when we’re tempted to hide and keep us sharp enough to recognise our role in bringing others into it. Thank you for your constant and active work in us, however distant from you we may feel.


5 Responses to You know what the Sun’s all about when the lights go out

  1. Lee says:

    Best post yet Dean. There's a lot of depth to this. Thank you for reminding me just how incomprehensibly awesome our God, Creator God, is.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Food for thought! This post certainly reminds me to look at the bigger picture.

  3. Great writing Dean! Very encouraging..

  4. crimson says:

    Where shall I go from your Spirit?Or where shall I flee from your presence?If I say "Surely the darkness shall cover me,and the light about me be night",even the darkness is not dark to you:the night is bright as the day,for darkness is as light with you.We've got no secrets from God, and he was knowing what he was getting when he got us which is pretty wonderful really, now if I could only learn to stop fooling myself by looking for shadows life would probably go a lot smoother ;)

  5. What is God? We and our materialistic little minds like to size God up to something we know here on earth; we appreciate metaphor that makes God more comprehensive to us. The Bible obliges us three times:"God is Spirit." John 4:24. Notice that "Spirit" is not preceded by an "a," or a "the." God, literally, IS Spirit."God is Love." I John 4:8. Same context."God is Light." I John 1:5. This goes well with the metaphor in your post, I think. One can see why the ancient pagans worshiped the sun (for reasons you stated), but yet, the sun only produces light. Whereas God IS light. No metaphor truly sizes Him up!

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