When you look at this picture how does it make you feel? Do your shoulders relax and your head go back? Do you dream of being there right now to sail off into the sunset?
It is easy to look at this picture and want to escape life for a moment in the hope that all your troubles will go away.
Sailing off into the sunset is such an idealistic fantasy meaning life is good and everything is as it should be.
Today the thought of being alone on a boat and sailing off into the sunset seems very appealing. Life and challenges are coming in on me from all sides, everything is a fight to just keep going and moving forward.
It is not an easy thing to build a business for the benefit of marginalised women. There are forces that stand against us achieving our goals. We have had many setbacks and personal challenges that have been unrelenting and inconsiderate of timing. It’s been a ‘stop the train I want to get off’ kind of week.
I took this photo on a recent holiday in the beautiful Caribbean. The boat was leaving the Barbadian shore just as the sun was setting and the sky was glorious in all it’s splendour.
It was mesmerising, yet it lasted all of about 10 minutes right before the sun disappeared and all went black.
A sunset is never permanent, it doesn’t last it is only a distraction for a very short moment in time. Most people love the sunset but what does it produce? Darkness.
The sunset is a moment to escape reality, but it cannot stop the darkness from coming.
It’s like the ostrich that buries it’s head to escape the real world. Believing what he cannot see does not exist, but all the while it’s giant feathery butt is sticking up in the air for all the world to see.
The same is true for us. To escape is never the solution, the problems never go away unless we deal with them. If we don’t deal with our issues the sun will soon set and all will go black.
Sometimes dealing with the over sized butt can be challenging, it can be confronting, it can require us to take a long hard look at ourselves and make some changes. It may require us to be the bigger person and apologise or to finally book that doctors appointment. To put extra time and effort into our relationships or to think more out of the box at creative solutions.
Each trial is an opportunity to stretch us and expand our thinking our abilities and attitudes so that we can grow into the shoes that we are trying to fit.
James 1:2 says:
‘Consider it nothing but joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you fall into various trials. Be assured that the testing of your faith through experience produces endurance leading to spiritual maturity, and inner peace. And let endurance have its perfect result and do a thorough work, so that you may be perfect and completely developed in your faith lacking nothing.’
So when it feels like the sun has set and the darkness falls, what must we do? We must stop hiding, get up, remove our heads from the sand, dust ourselves off, face the challenge with courage and say to ourselves: