A Christian Science perspective: The beauty of a sunset on the highway after a hectic day gave this writer a glimpse of the divine harmony of the universe that brings grace and calm to daily living.
Courtesy of James H. Hegarty
One night my husband and I rushed out the door, late for a concert. Then, driving down the highway after a very busy day, deep in conversation about the details of some family business, we missed our exit. Taking the next exit and reentering the highway, we were now traveling west, and this brief detour proved to be a real bonus. The sun was setting in the midst of some very unusual cloud formations. A vibrant palette of colors graced the sky, providing a stunning backdrop for the clouds.
The scene created a memorable moment of beauty and harmony above the otherwise mundane highway and powerfully broke through the fog of the hustle and bustle that had characterized our too busy day. In just a few minutes we were back at the correct exit.
We had to leave the beauty behind, but the glory of it had taken hold in our thought and awakened us to a greater sense of the power of harmony in our lives, ironing out the wrinkles in our day. The majesty of the sunset had put our concerns about the family business matter into proper perspective. Right away we felt confident that the correct resolution of the complex issues involved would soon appear. Our conversation turned to more pleasant topics, and, to our surprise, we arrived at the concert with time to spare.
The amazing artistry of the sunrise and sunset happens somewhere around the globe every moment. While one person stands in awe of the sun rising over the horizon of an ocean, someone else at the same moment in another part of the world marvels at the beauty of the sun setting behind an urban skyline.
I’ve never seen an ugly sunrise or sunset. Some are more stunning than others, but every sunrise and sunset reveals harmony. The colors vary from golden yellow to deep purple, yet in each one the combinations of color and light harmonize. It’s as if this unfolding of perpetual beauty provides humanity with a continuous reaffirmation that in truth, all is harmony. Mary Baker Eddy, in her book “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” explains: “Outside the material sense of things, all is harmony. A wrong sense of God, man, and creation is non-sense, want of sense” (p. 489).
Even on a day when we’re struggling with the most difficult challenges we’ve ever confronted, at that same time somewhere on the planet this powerful display of perpetual harmony is unfolding – calling out to each of us with this healing message: Don’t be impressed by the labels of failure, ugliness, or illness that have crossed your path today. Remember the message of the sunset: All is harmony.
War may rage in some parts of the world, yet the beauty and harmony of the sunset remain a daily testament to the existence of a consistently benevolent power, a governing Principle, that maintains harmony. The word of God given to the prophet and recorded in the book of Isaiah confirms this: “I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me” (Isaiah 45:5).
God is All. The goodness, love, and perfection of God is the perpetual harmony that constitutes reality. This allness is the Principle of being that heals the sick and casts out evil. This Principle is God, infinite good, in action. It operates continuously, manifesting its will. It lifts the human consciousness out of fear. Just as the sunrise and sunset unfold minute by minute without fail, so, too, God, the Principle of harmony, governs without fail. Although what we see and hear may contradict the all-power of harmony, if we take a moment to refocus our thoughts on the present magnificence of God’s goodness, this true view of reality will break the hold of negative, material-based thinking and immediately reveal more of God’s ever-present harmony in our day.