Once, in the early morning just before sunrise, I was standing with a student waiting for the sun to come up. I was teaching a class on relapse prevention at a conference center in Arizona. I got up early to watch the sunrise. A young man, one of my students, walked up next to me. We both gazed toward the east waiting for the sun to come up
“Do you believe in God?” the student suddenly asked.
The question surprised me. Before I could answer, the first rays of the sunrise broke over the eastern horizon – pushing away the darkness of night and blanketing the sand-colored rock with an incredible mist of swirling colors.
I looked at the young man and for a moment. Then I turned back to watch the brilliantly colored rays role gently role toward us. They seemed, at first, to be boiling above the hot desert sand. As the sun rose higher in the sky, the multicolored mist turned into a blazing ball of silver and gold. it was so bright we had to squint our eyes and look away.
“Well – Do you believe in God?” The boy asked again. I had forgotten he had asked the question. His voice was so insistent and his face was so serious that I knew I had to answer
“Yes,” I Said. “I believe in God. There is certainly someone or something bigger and more powerful than me – Someone who capable making much better sunrises than I ever could. I believe in God very strongly when I watch his powerful works unfold all around me.” The boy seemed satisfied with my answer.
We gave one last glance at the rising sun. We turned and walked back into the conference room. Even though the rising sun was incredibly beautiful, there was no time to waste. We were learning about how to help addicts and their families recovery. As we settled in and I began the class, I could feel the presence of God in the room and I realized that the work we were doing in the classroom was just as powerful and awe-inspiring as the sunrise we had just experienced