Chasing the Sun: Part 2

This is the second part of a two-part series. Find Part 1 HERE.

As I departed from Neyanquing Point and prepared for my drive to Holland, Michigan for the final part of my journey, I considered what stops, if any, I should make along the way. Based on my time constraints and the Nelson obsession with coffee, there was only one place to go: Riverside Cafe in Newaygo, Michigan. We used to stop by this place every year on our way to Camp Ao-Wa-Kiya for our annual family vacation. Because I didn’t have time for a full camp tour, I figured that the cafe stop was a good compromise. I stopped in, snapped a few pictures, got a “New-Way-to-Go” frozen drink, and set out once more, rejuvenated by sugar and caffeine. 

Riverside Cafe, in Newaygo, Michigan

On my drive over, I pondered the meaning of the events of that morning. Given how that portion of my journey had gone, I wondered what new challenges the afternoon and evening might bring. A flat tire on my way, perhaps? Or maybe an interminable traffic jam to teach me patience? Of course, 2020 could always pull a 2020 and something completely unprecedented. Regardless, this final leg of my journey was sure to be exciting.

An hour later, I arrived safe and sound at my destination in Holland, Michigan. I was even slightly early. The family I was staying with, the Vink’s, had hosted me and some of my friends in the past, and everything at their house was much as I had remembered it. With sunset primed for about 9:50pm, we had several hours to kill. Luckily, Holland is blessed with several interesting things to see and do, including but not limited to: a frozen yogurt joint, a blueberry farm (where I took an appropriately dorky picture, included below), and an authentic Dutch windmill from 1761. Each of these things was framed with fantastic conversation about life, history, and theology. Honestly, what more could you ask for?

Bowerman’s Blueberries serves some excellent donuts.

Well, I was there to see the sunset, and before long, it was time to get to the beach. Apparently, a lot of other people had the same idea. As we waited in the line of cars to get into the park, I checked “Develop Patience” off of my mental to-do list. Easy.

Once inside the park, it was just a matter of staking a claim on a section of the beach and waiting for the earth to rotate a little bit. 

As I watched the sun edge ever closer to the horizon, I reflected on the deep contrast between my morning and evening. If in the morning I had been taught the value of pursuing God with my time and energy, in the evening I learned the value of companionship and the encouragement it can bring. 

It’s one thing to have your regular friend group who mostly agree with you on the things that matter. But when you meet with others from outside that circle who hold to the same truths that you do, their very existence is refreshing. 

If, like me, you have been feeling lonely or isolated, it may be time to find people outside your regular social circle who share your passions. From them, you may find what you need, be it a new perspective or encouragement in what you believe. 

And now, for all those who read this far, it is confession time.

In my last post, I said that I merely woke up one day with the idea to see the sunrise and sunset on the water in one day. While that is true, I did not share the motivation behind this idea. 

As many of you know, I have been attending Bethany Theological Seminary in Richmond, Indiana at distance for the past year. Since then, however, I have applied and been accepted to both their Master of Divinity program and Pillars and Pathways Residency Scholarship program. What this means is that I will be moving down to Indiana to attend classes full-time in early August. Earning this degree will take 2-3 years of schooling. 

And so, just as I watched the sunset on Lake Michigan, so is the sun setting on my time in Michigan. I plan to visit whenever possible, but only God knows what will happen in the future. I dedicate all my plans to him, and I look forward to sharing this journey with all of you.

God bless!