As he sat on that mountain top, he watched a sunset so beautiful as to bring him to tears. The sight was the very manifestation of peace, serenity, and glory: the untainted majesty of it took his breath away. Almost everything about this moment was perfect: the sight of God’s art in the sky, the smell of raw earth, the invigorating feel of the warm, summer-like wind that made his clothes whip around his body and filled his lungs with the wonderful taste of nature’s pure air; and even the powerfully peaceful sound of silence amidst the wind.
And that was just to the west.
To the east was the sheer edge of a cliff face that would carry him down to a forest that appeared quite small from the altitude of this giant rock. As he directed his gaze to the far horizon, he saw an indescribable panorama of countless acres of countryside. He watched as the shadow of his mountain covered more and more of the landscape, and marveled at the beauty of the patches of light caused by the shifting clouds.
He wept for the sheer beauty of it all. He couldn’t take his eyes off of either sight, and found himself spinning in slow circles to take as much in as he could before the moment ended. The world was washed in shades of purple, red, and orange as the sun produced its dazzling show of lights in its descent. He had his camera with him, but sensors and glass were no match for all that there was to see, and the senses that just had to be experienced.
Surrounded by all this, and close bursting with emotion at what was unfolding before his eyes, he turned to draw his love to his side, to sit and drink up this moment with her, and share this wonder of God with her; but there was no one. He suddenly found himself overwhelmed by a sickening sense loneliness. The most beautiful sight he had ever seen, and it had to be contained within the limits of his own memory? All the beauty around him turned into an empty theatre: it was all there, but no one to turn to and laugh, cry, or silently hold: though he knew that God was on that mountain with him, he felt absolutely alone.
To surrender a precious dream is a fearful thing, but he learned that night that he could not hold on to what was not his. God had not promised him that he would ever have a companion, and yet he treated a precious gift as an inalienable right. He knew that night that he must surrender that dream if he wanted to love God fully. If God would bring someone to him, it would not be because he had earned her, but because God in His divine providence had chosen him to be one of those fortunate enough to receive such a gift. Until that moment, if and when it ever came, he would focus on nothing but his growing his love for his Savior into an unquenchable passion that could last a lifetime. This love would be the foundation for fulfilling the call he hoped to receive.
As he settled into the reality of his commitment, he felt peace. The sunset turned to stars, and he knew that his love had been replaced where it belonged.
To surrender a precious dream is a fearful thing, but to pursue anything but the full measure of the glory of God’s love is a wasted life.