Searching For The Sunrise

February 23, 2022 |

Searching For The Sunrise

Sedalia, Colorado––I was on a retreat with a worship ministry called Dwell. One morning I woke
up early, before sunrise. A new friend at the retreat told me that my cabin had the best view of
the sunrise hitting the mountains. It was my first morning there, so I was excited to see it.
Whenever I get to have "the best," I want to take advantage of it!

Now––I'm pretty obsessed with making the right decision. That's very important to me. For
example, I am so terrified of making a wrong decision it has led to an obsession with product
reviews. It's hard to pick restaurants without checking Yelp's top five list. I waited to buy
headphones for two years because I was scared that a new iteration might come out. Better to go
without than without the best.

So, there I am on this porch overlooking a mountain range. I mean, my view from the cabin was
incredible. The nickname for my cabin was "Huff" because of the impressive staircase covering a
fair bit of elevation on the way up to it. There was an awesome swinging bench. I had cozy
blankets, coffee, my Bible... everything needed for an excellent morning.

But... maybe there was something better. Maybe there was something more. On an impulse,
rather than cozying up on the porch with all my nice things, I put on my boots and just started
running up the side of the mountain behind my cabin.

"Which way is East?"

"Does the sun rise in the East and set in the West? Yeah, that sounds right."

"Ok... but the mountains are blocking the sun anyway!"

"Should I go to the West to get a better view of the... East?"

"But if we're in a valley, can you see the sunrise if you're surrounded by mountains?"

These are some of the embarrassing questions bouncing through my 28-year-old brain as I zig-
zag my way up the rocky elevation. Eventually, I found a stately rock a little off the path. It
looked Lion King-y enough for the super artsy experience I was seeking, so I was into it. I sat
down and took a moment to try and slow down my breathing. My mouth was dry because I didn't
bring water. There was no cell service, so my basic questions about astrology and how the sun
works went unanswered. It was windy. I was cold and unprepared.




I turn to my left to look around. Further up the path, I see another rock.

THE rock.

The ultimate rock.

It was perched way higher up. The view must be better up there! Plus, I needed a good view
because I was, at the moment, the only human on the planet about to be surprised by where the
sun was going to show up.

So I scamper my indoorsy, lanky body up the path again.


Heavier breathing.


Directionally confused.

Freezing - the wind chill was picking up.

I eventually made it to this rock, and well, let's say it was less than ideal. It was good, but not
what I imagined it to be. Low and behold, I see ANOTHER rock further up! It must have wind
protection on the other side––unlike this peasant rock here.

And so, the cycle continued.

My asthma starts to kick in.

I get a little off the well-worn path.

The sun starts pouring onto the tip of the mountains across the valley, outlining them in a soft
glow. It's beautiful, for sure, but for the first time, I suddenly realized that in order to see the sun
rising over the horizon... you have to be able to see the horizon. And the mountains across the
valley will block my view of the sun until it's high in the air.

Defeated and exhausted, I collapsed in the cleft of the latest rock that was "trending" to hide
from the wind. In the sudden stillness of the moment, it hit me.

My whole life, I had been trying to catch up to people who were further up the mountain than
me. Constantly comparing my worst moments to their greatest successes, jealous of where they
were, and frustrated with where I was. They're further up the mountain than I am, so they MUST
see everything better. They must know THE way. But as I've gotten to meet these heroes and see
their lives up close, I realized it's not all that much better. Their view is pretty much the same.
For so long, I've been striving to catch up, to finally find what I was missing. But every rock on
that mountain had the same view of the sun pouring orange over the snow-crested tops of the
blue mountain range surrounding me.

God's manifold glory and creation are evident (Romans 1:20). There is no excuse for missing it.
We don't find the best parts of life when we look around us for the next best thing or compare
ourselves to others. The single best thing in life is found when we look toward the things of God
and rest in His sufficiency.

Comparison and insecurity have controlled me for most of my life. But in a moment, the clarity
of this metaphor silenced them.


I slowly recovered, grateful to survive my forty-minute soul-searching adventure (that felt like
three hours), and began to walk down. The following day, I watched the sunrise from the porch
right outside my doorstep.

My friend was right. The best view wasn't higher up.

The best view wasn't somewhere else.

The best view isn't someone else's...

It was right where God had placed me.

I'm so grateful God meets us where we are. No matter how high or low we think we are on the
mountain of success, we share the same view of the glory of God, painting the mountains in front
of us.

It doesn't matter where I sit; I'm in the presence of God.

"I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth." - Psalm 121:1-2 ESV

John Marc Kohl

John Marc is a worship leader, songwriter, and musician dedicated to glorifying God through creativity. From being on staff at a few churches, to supporting other artists and ministries, John Marc has always loved to lead others to connect with Jesus through worship. As a result of releasing music in different genres, he also realizes the need for worship music to be as creative and as beautiful as Jesus is. John Marc and his wife Lila live in Dallas, TX.