This is the day we’ve all been waiting for…an eclipse.
If your workforce punches a clock – with the assurance that they’re being productive while they’re on-the-job – this may turn out to be a low impact day for you. Wherever you are (if you’re reading this within the continental United States), TES (Total Eclipse Syndrome; my diagnosis) is likely to derail your team’s output today.
The Main Event (the total cover-up of the sun, by the moon) will last less than three minutes; the phenomenon will begin in Lincoln Beach, Oregon at 10:16a, with the final showing in Charleston, South Carolina at 2:48p. Between those moments, the attention of 330 million people across America will be drawn to the skies (or to the “live” coverage on their screens).
You may not read this until it’s over; our digital distribution normally takes place during that time window. By now, you may be in recovery mode. It is, however, still the News of the Day.
The raw facts, without factoring in the human elements: a Total Eclipse hasn’t visited the Lower 48 for 99 years; Woodrow Wilson was President. Partial eclipses come-and-go with some occasionality; this one is the “big deal.” The match-up of the Sun and the Moon is curious: the Sun is 400 times larger than our solitary Moon (Jupiter has 66 of them), but it’s distance away from Earth is 400 times greater than the Moon. Those factors create the geometry that delivers a Total Eclipse: from ground level – all of the time – the Sun and the Moon appear to be the same size, allowing for the Moon to come between us and our source of life and energy, albeit briefly.
Every day of the year, the relationship between the Sun and the Moon is in flux. From ground level, the Sun can be counted on to do its thing every day. Summer and winter have different schedules, but Mr. Sun is dependable and delivers what we need from him with consistent faithfulness.
You wouldn’t know Moon if Sun was not doing its part. The light – all light – comes from Sun; without Sun, Moon would be dark and invisible. When Moon is in full exposure, we call it a Full Moon; when it’s fully blocked (it happens 12x year, but no one is racing to see the “full eclipse of the Moon” every month) it’s known as a New Moon.
What’s happening today? The usurper is blocking the source: Moon, who depends on Sun for light and energy, is (partially) blocking access to our mutual fuel source. If it were to continue, our ecosystem would collapse. Gratefully, it will be over in less time than a Super Bowl commercial break.
Today, you’re getting a preview of one of the elements in God’s cosmic game plan for the future. He has some extraordinary interventions waiting to be triggered in the days to come.
You’ve seen it in movie theaters: they run trailers that give highlights of the features that will be on the main screen, soon. Here’s one of God’s trailers (he calls it “prophecy,” from Amos 8):
“In that day,” declares the Sovereign Lord, “I will make the sun go down at noon and darken the earth in broad daylight. I will turn your religious festivals into mourning and all your singing into weeping. I will make all of you wear sackcloth and shave your heads. I will make that time like mourning for an only son and the end of it like a bitter day.”
If you’re reading this before your zip code turns dark, make sure you use the right glasses to look up, or your eyes could be irreparably damaged. If it’s come-and-gone already, you’ve just had a preview of things to come.
One of these days, the God who created Sun and Moon will use them as part of his supporting cast for the final scenes of this epic drama in which he – the Sun – ultimately defeats the Moon – the One who blocks the Sun from earth view, pretending to be a light source while unable to sustain life…