What did you go out to see?

The alarm went off at 3:30. That's 0330. That's before 4 in the morning. That's early. And I didn't have work, or an appointment or anyone I had to meet. I had to go 20 kilometres away and be there by 4:15 am. I wanted to see the moon. Tonight it was full. And then the longest lunar eclipse of the century took place. I didn't see it all as the clouds barricaded the moon away from me for a time. 

Then it happened, the white moon turned blood red. They call this phenomenon the "blood moon." The moon was at its apogee (the farthest point in its orbit around Earth), so the moon actually appeared smaller in size. Unlike the Super Blue Blood Moon, where it appeared much bigger in size. 

Even so, the moon was extremely present, and dominant to the cloud-filled sky. At just the right time, the clouds rolled back and the white eclipsed moon, turned red. It was quite a sight to see. 

I had my camera and many lenses. I was ready. But really I wanted to enjoy the moment and see the sight. It was a cold winter's night tonight, and my Sydney Swans beanie kept my head warm, but my hands were starting to chill too much. After I had seen what I went out to see, I went back into the car, thanked God (not my lucky stars) and drove home. 

What did I go out to see? The moon, and the ways of nature as it climbed into the sky and filled me and no doubt, hundreds of planetaria and tens of thousands of astronomers, with pleasure.

Earlier tonight I got home (a bit late from dinner out and working a bit later at the office) and watched the aforementioned Swans in their match against the Essendon Bombers in Melbourne. I recorded the game, so could fast forward through the stoppages and the major breaks. What did I want to see? After my side had lost 3 of their last 4 games, I was hoping for a victory. But that didn't happen. I saw the team go down to a 40 point loss and our Top 8 hopes are being dashed weekly. I wanted to see victory, but instead saw disappointment and defeat.

Back at the turn of the Christian era, about 2000 years ago, Yeshua from Nazareth was discussing his relative John, and posed these three questions, "When the messengers of John had left, Yeshua began to speak to the crowds about John, “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? But what did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft 2clothing? Those who are splendidly clothed and live in luxury are found in royal palaces! But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and one who is more than a prophet." (Luke 7.24-26)

It's a good thing to consider. Why do we go where we go? What did we hope to see?  Those who checked the New York Stock Exchange yesterday morning perhaps were shocked to see Facebook had lost over $100 billion in value. In a day. They might have gone out to see victory and financial independence, but instead were met with despair and loss.  

When you retire for the night tonight, or wake up fresh in the morning, ask yourself, what do I want to see today? In what direction can I face, and what actions should I take to make those things happen? 

I really like the Serenity Prayer of the 12-step folks. "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference." Change what you can. Make a difference. Do the right things. Change the things you can. 

And yet, there are an equal number of enthusiastic folks in your world who can change things that you cannot. There are circumstances you cannot control. There are processes in place that you didn't create. Accept the things you cannot change. 

What did you go out to see today?
What will you do with your tomorrow?


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