June 16th, 2012| Topic: RaMbLeS | 6


The mountain on West Maui is called Haleakalā (“house of the sun”) with its tallest peak at about 10,000 feet. And it’s a great place to catch the sunrise—a must-do activity in Maui.

From where we stayed, in South Maui, it was a three-hour drive to the summit, mostly hairpin bends that really are hair-raising. Lots of blind turns and steep drop-offs. With the occasional cow meandering across the road.

Not to mention, a ton of bikers on the return trip, going down. Several organizations pick up folks from hotels, take them to the summit, and then set them loose on bikes. Over 500 of them each day. Since 2007, after multiple fatal accidents, the National Park Service suspended commercial bicycles from the Park boundaries, but you can ride down from just outside its limits, from about 7,000 ft elevation.

So we woke up at 2:30 am, the day after we got to Hawaii (which wasn’t that hard because of the jet lag), to catch the sunrise at 6:00 am. It was, in one word, spectacular!

Not just the sunrise, but even the colors in the sky and clouds just before daybreak. Stunning!

(Of course, it is also very windy, and the temperature falls about 3º for every 1000 feet of elevation. So there we were, in Hawaii, shivering in 40º weather; thankfully, we were prepared with layers of clothing, jackets, shawls, hats, ear-coverings, gloves ….)

Here’s the scoop …

In those days when gods walked on the earth, the goddess Hina complained to her son, the demigod Maui, that the sun moved too fast across the sky. The good son that he was, Maui climbed to the summit of Haleakalā and when the sun poked its head above the horizon, he lassoed the star. When the sun implored Maui for release, the demigod agreed, but on condition that the sun slow its advance across the sky. It agreed.

People stand in silence and talk in whispers as the sun rises.

(Except for one guy who kept blasting inane music from his phone all around Haleakalā at dawn. I politely requested him to refrain.)

What a sight!

I was reminded of God’s challenge to Job …

“Have you ever in your life commanded the morning,
And caused the dawn to know its place,
That it might take hold of the ends of the earth?”
Job 38:12–13

And the psalmist’s exultation …

They who dwell in the ends of the earth
stand in awe of Your signs;
You make the dawn and the sunset shout for joy.
Psalm 65:8

But a greater light has come. A greater sun has risen. The Son of God.

Because of the tender mercy of our God,
With which the Sunrise from on high will visit us,
To shine upon those who sit in darkness
and the shadow of death,
To guide our feet into the way of peace.
Luke 1:78–79

And we, the children of God are to shine like the sun as we walk in his ways, righteous.

But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn,
That shines brighter and brighter until the full day.
Proverbs 4:18

What a Son!

Hail the heav’nly Prince of Peace!
Hail the Sun of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings,
Ris’n with healing in His wings.
Charles Wesley, 1739

And he’s coming again … soon!

And there will no longer be any night;
and they will not have need of the light of a lamp
nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God will illumine them.
Revelation 22:5


  1. Meredith June 17, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    Thank you for the blog! The truth is refreshing. I love how today’s verses use the “tangible” concept of light to reveal some of God’s character.

  2. Scout June 17, 2012 at 7:58 am

    Almost Michigan! Beautiful.

  3. ken June 17, 2012 at 7:49 am

    Thanks for taking that beautiful sun rise picture!


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