What a bunch of HYPE over this crazy eclipse! Ugh… what a battle I had internally as to go or not go. The path of totality was 2 hours from my home. Do I dare take the drive through insanity to be a spectator like everyone else? It reminds me of going to a World Series game. People just kind of go a bit crazy.
My largest battle was my spiritual inner turmoil. As a photographer I wanted to go ‘capture’ it, as a believer I wanted to go ‘experience’ it. My inner dialog went something like this…. “GO!!” Then “Don’t, just stay home.” and back and forth and back and forth. This went on for months. As my friends were encouraging me to go, and I was a bit resistant, only out of ‘fear’ of getting caught up in the HYPE instead of the glory of God’s beauty, I struggled. I did not plan to go and decided I would make up my mind when I made up my mind… I’ve been known to do things last-minute…
August 21st arrived and around 6:10am I saw out my bedroom window the cloud formations which I knew would be spectacular lighting for a sunrise, so I jumped in the jeep and drove down the road about 1/2 a mile and snapped a few shots. God’s glory was shining bright in Kansas!! His presence was felt!!
So August 21st at 9:30am after my morning walk with my dear friend I decided to go to the blackout zone, knowing full well the clouds were out and I may see nothing, which in turn took my mind from ‘capture’ to ‘experience’. I wasn’t planning on seeing the total eclipse because of the clouds, I was more excited about feeling and experiencing the environment around me during totality. I also thought this would be a great experience for my son. I asked him if he could get ready in 20 minutes and if he’d like to experience this eclipse with me.
My son and I left for Nebraska and took the “road less traveled”, it went straight up from Kansas to a small town NOT on the NASA website map. The roads were not bad at all and we made pretty good time. The eclipse had already started when we arrived in the totality zone. There were a few “parties” going on in Fairbury, and we decided to keep on driving towards Western, NE. I chose to turn on a dirt road about 5 miles out of Fairbury and travel east. NOT A SOUL IN SIGHT! So we pulled off along the dirt road and got out to see what we could see. This is what we saw.
As beautiful as this storm was, after about 20 minutes we realized the storm was moving towards us. We jumped in the jeep and headed back south on the dirt road trying to escape the rain.
About 2 miles south we stopped again and looked around on the muddy sand road. I gazed down the road looking for a sign of light peeking through the clouds and my son and I realized we were about 15 minutes from totality. I saw a field about 1/2 a mile south that looked as if it was lit up. So we jumped in the vehicle and drove. As we approached the ‘spot’, to the east was corn, to the west was a beautiful pond/lake. We decided to get out and make this our observation spot. Regardless if we saw the sun or not it was a beautiful spot! The boy of course has to go explore the corn, to see if it was ready, and within the next 5 minutes the skies began to change. The clouds cleared enough to see the sun. My son grabs his glasses and says, “MOM, it’s almost totality!” We notice the rainbow ring around the sun and the colors began to change.
The process through those SECONDS was amazing… I took a few photos during the eclipse(a total of 101 for the whole time.. that’s not many for me!) The horizon lit up like a sunset at 360 degrees. Bursting orange and yellow up to the darkness. The one thing I didn’t anticipate was the wind gust. When it went dark, like someone switched off a light, the wind blew and it wasn’t a light wind, it was a GUST! It took my breath away. If you research the word “Spirit” in the hebrew and greek language many times it is referred to as ‘wind’…. friends…. it was something I’ve never experienced before. The sheer beauty around us of the skies, the eclipse, the temperature, the sounds, the feeling was unbelievable. Peace be still.
To stand in the awe of something so unique and God divine made me wonder how the world can question His existence and authority. The one resounding thought I’ve had the last few days is the importance of understanding His authority and the importance of renewing our minds each day.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2
Read, Repent, Renew, Repeat.
I grabbed my other camera and lens, the cheaper one with the most zoom, to see if I could possibly get a photo of the eclipse up close. I took 8 photos and put it down. I figured if I got it great, if not I need to SEE THIS MYSELF and absorb the amazing environment around me. Much to my surprise once totality had passed and I looked at my camera screen, this was on it(see below). God opened a door for us to see.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9
So all of this to share with you my takeaway:
#1 The importance of respecting our Creator.
#2 Do not put Him in a box, He has the ability to bring us amazing opportunities, even if we don’t plan it.
#3 Lastly, the sheer amazement of God our Father who is authority over ALL, who is Creator of all, who is the One that let His Son die for US. When Christ died He took on the weight of the world’s sins, HE took our sins and placed them upon Himself so WE could be saved.
“He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” 1 Peter 2:24
The eclipse was a great perspective reminder of how BIG our God is and how WE must submit to His will and authority.
I challenge you to find Totality:
A totality in seeking Him in His Word, a totality in loving as He loves, a totality in repentance, a totality in renewal, a totality in freedom in Christ.
To GOD be the GLORY.