Volusia County Councilwoman Deb Denys' Indiana-based son answers her question: Why were we drawn so close to the solar eclipse?

YouTube download / NASA video footage of the total eclipse from Beatrice, Nebraska. Broadcast through PBS, Aug. 21, 2017. District 3 Volusia County Councilwoman Deb Denys, who like many were caught up in the eclipse hoopla, is shown below. The still imager above was taken by Denys' Indiana-based son, Brian Hartman.
 
By HENRY FREDERICK
Headline Surfer

Deb Denys / Headline SurferNEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. -- Volusia County Councilwoman Deb Denys asked, Why were we so drawn to the eclipse?"

She and countless others got a viable answer from her son, Brian Hartman, who shared his thoughts about the eclipse on Facebook from his home in Smith Valley, Indiana. Denys hinted at his reasoning by paraphrasing 1 Corinthians 15:46: "First in the natural, then in the Spirit."

Here is what Hartman had to say:

"Today was a solar eclipse from coast to coast in the United States. The first total solar eclipse in nearly 100 years. Very few Americans had ever seen one before, yet most knew it was coming. It was everywhere on the news, on social media, and at the water cooler. Many last-minute shoppers tried desperately to find authentic glasses or grab the last hotel room within 300 miles of the totality. We knew it was coming, and it was going to be incredible, and we still weren’t ready. It has been predicted for hundreds of years, and we still weren’t ready.
To be fair, a good number of people had made preparations. Those dedicated souls living outside the band of totality found places to sit and watch the celestial game of hide and go seek. Many packed overnight bags, food, extra gas for the car, and expensive telescopes and cameras to record the event. Most of us chose to either watch the event on TV or stream it online. If you lived close enough you probably stepped outside with overpriced glasses or a cereal box to sneak a peek between your primary responsibilities. Those uninterested in the event likely complained about the interruption of their routines. Snarled traffic, decreased productivity, and cluttered social media streams. 
This was the first time in our lifetimes that the two heavenly bodies lined up for us in this country. Tens of millions of people were focused skyward to experience the incredible show and most are now eagerly awaiting the next total solar eclipse in 2024. Millions of people who experienced the view of totality were energized by the phenomenon. They texted pictures, they called their friends, they emailed family, and they posted on social media. Quite the fevered pitch of human excitability.
Brian Hartman of Indiana on the solar eclipse / Headline SurferThis was the first time in our lifetimes that the two heavenly bodies lined up for us in this country. Tens of millions of people were focused skyward to experience the incredible show and most are now eagerly awaiting the next total solar eclipse in 2024. Millions of people who experienced the view of totality were energized by the phenomenon. They texted pictures, they called their friends, they emailed family, and they posted on social media. Quite the fevered pitch of human excitability.
But what about tomorrow? The next total eclipse is seven years away. Seven years of our routines to think about. Seven more years to procrastinate securing our next pair of eclipse glasses and the hotel room at the point of longest totality. Seven more years to forget how excited we were to focus on something beyond ourselves and come together as a nation to celebrate the majesty on display. 
Now compare this eclipse to the Christian faith. For thousands of years an event had been predicted that never came. People were told what to expect, and it never happened. This was before social media, 24-hour news networks, and text alerts. Then one day, a Savior was born. News spread slowly but as the years went on the excitement grew. People began to change. Lives took on a different meaning. Jesus rose to Heaven with the promise that He would soon return. But He hasn’t. Just like future eclipses we know an amazing event is coming, we just don’t know when. Many of us are interested but onlookers can’t tell by our preparation. We haven’t read the letters written about it. We haven’t followed the path laid out for us. We haven’t made room in our busy schedules for God and his commandments. We’re too busy with life to focus on something that’s been predicted but hasn’t happened. Seven years is a long time away. So is seven times seven. That’s right, a solar eclipse will happen in 2066, in the far northern hemisphere. Will you be there? Will you even be alive? Will you be the one who prepared when Christ returns? Or will you be complaining about the disruption in your routine? Will you call your friends and family and share the Good News of what is coming? I know, it's not an eclipse, but it still seems relevant. 
We tend to prepare for things both at the last minute and incompletely. Don’t do this with your faith. Just because something hasn’t happened yet, doesn’t mean it’s not going to. We’re all going to die. Many of us will not be blessed with a last minute to prepare. Harness the emotion you felt today while viewing the heavens and use it to take an inventory of your life. Embrace the important, cast aside the trivial. Focus on the Light that neither blinds nor binds, but frees us from the bounds of earth. 
No glasses or cereal boxes needed, just a pair of knees.
 

 

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Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most experienced reporters, having amassed dozens of journalism-industry awards. Frederick is enrolled online at Full Sail University in Winter Garden, FL, where he's a third of the way though the Master of Arts program in New Media Journalism. His graduation will be in March 2018.